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Russia to decide retaliation against US over compound seizures

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia will next week take a decision about if and how it will retaliate against the United States over the seizure of its diplomatic compounds on US soil, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

The outgoing Obama administration expelled 35 suspected Russian spies late last year and seized two diplomatic compounds over what it said was the hacking of US political groups during the 2016 presidential election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin decided not to retaliate immediately, saying he would wait to see what the new administration of Donald Trump would do.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, told a news briefing on Friday that “time was running out” for the problem to be resolved.

She said Moscow’s course of action would depend on the outcome of a meeting in Washington on July 17 between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon.

Russia expected US officials to set out proposals aimed at resolving the issue at that meeting, she added.

One possible retaliatory measure would be to reduce staff levels at the US embassy in Moscow to those of the Russian embassy in Washington, she said.

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