The Trump administration is considering returning Russia's diplomatic compounds to Maryland and NY, five months after former President Barack Obama ordered them vacated and ejected dozens of Russian personnel as punishment for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
USA officials said they're holding high-level negotiations with Moscow that could result in returning two Russian compounds, including one on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
The Trump administration has yet to finalize any plans to let Russian Federation use the compounds again.
The Trump administration told Russian Federation in early May that it would consider giving the houses back if Moscow would lift its freeze on the construction of a new US consulate in St. Petersburg.
Taylor: Montana Voters' Choice on Gianforte Should Be 'Honored'
Republicans said the outcome lifts their hopes approaching two other special elections next month in Georgia and SC . Gianforte's support came from people like Bozeman advertising executive Cailley Tonn, who voted early for Gianforte.
Senior Tillerson adviser R.C. Hammond told the Post that "U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", but Moscow is talking like it's a done deal. Kremlin spokesman Yury Ushakov said Wednesday that Russia understands "the hard internal political situation for the current administration", but would explore options to retaliate for what it considers the "expropriation" of its property, according to Russian news outlet Sputnik. "Before making a final decision on allowing the Russians to reoccupy the compounds, the administration is examining possible restrictions on Russian activities there, including removing the diplomatic immunity the properties previously enjoyed", the report said.
But there could've been a good reason for this according to a report from The Washington Post. The cited reasons were the USA intelligence community's consensus that the Russian government had committed cyber espionage to subvert the 2016 presidential election and the harassment of US diplomats in Russia. "Washington Post is among them", Ryabkov said. Before leaving office, Obama blacklisted several Russians, maintained evidence of Russian hacking during the election, and forced the closure of two lavish estates used by Russian diplomats since the '70s. He also expelled 35 Russian "intelligence operatives."
Kislyak, who met with multiple other members of the Trump campaign, is set to leave his post as Russian ambassador in Washington, which he assumed in 2008.