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WaPost: Russians Might Get US Diplomatic Compounds Back

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The Trump administration is considering allowing Russian officials to return to two diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland after the Obama administration ejected the Russians from the compounds as part of USA sanctions after Russia meddled in the 2016 election, according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday evening.

In a statement about the sanctions, Obama described them as "a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests" and warned that "such activities have consequences". "Trump's willingness to give them back shows where his allegiances are: with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and not with the American people".

Former President Barack Obama slapped these punishments on Russian Federation in December specifically because Moscow was meddling in the United States election in order to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

President Donald Trump responded to Obama's executive action by telling reporters "I think we ought to get on with our lives". In the same statement, he declared 35 Russian intelligence agents "persona non grata", forcing them to leave the U.S.

The compound closures had outraged Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration.

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In response to reports in the U.S. and in Russian Federation that the handover is imminent, the State Department told NBC News, "The U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", and the next meeting between the two countries will be at the end of the month in St. Petersburg.

"This is a real bullying, bullying as it is, because labeling Russian ambassador a spy, who personally recruits U.S. politicians is insane. This is yet another red flag about the Trump administration's cozy relationship with the Kremlin".

R.C. Hammond, senior communications adviser for the State Department, told the newspaper in a statement that "The U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements".

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California took to social media to express bafflement that the Trump administration would even consider returning the compounds to Russian officials. And while that scandal unfolds, it appears the Russian government is attempting to expand its ability to strike at the U.S. After all, they were long believed to be used for intelligence/spying purposes.

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