Russia is “outraged” that the United States has not yet resolved issues following the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December.
Moscow is considering retaliatory measures, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, without disclosing further details.
“We are thinking about specific steps, and I don’t believe that this should be discussed publicly,” Lavrov told journalists in a televised briefing.
His deputy, Sergei Ryabkov, told Sputnik news — a Russian government-controlled news agency — that “different options are being considered, but a tough reaction has been prepared,” in an interview Tuesday.
In December, then President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on two intelligence agencies, expelled 35 Russian diplomats, and closed two Russian compounds inside the United States. Russia immediately denounced the sanctions as unlawful and threatened to retaliate.
Russian president Vladimir Putin decided then against direct retaliation and did not expel American diplomats — a decision that was hailed by President Donald Trump as “a great move.”
But Moscow is keen to regain its properties in the United States, one in Maryland, about 90 km outside of Washington, D.C., the other in New York state. The subject was on the agenda of Putin’s first face-to-face meeting with Trump in Hamburg, according to the Kremlin.