Moscow's patience running out in diplomatic row with US
Jul 16 2017
"There is no sense drawing us into such a soap opera as we are not taking part or playing roles in it", said the Kremlin spokesman.
But Peskov and the Russian Foreign Ministry said the Kremlin is running out of patience and will retaliate by expelling USA diplomats and seizing American property in Russia unless an agreement to return the seized compounds comes out of high-level talks due to resume on July 17.
After all, for Russian President Vladimir Putin, being considered a Machiavellian grandmaster of geopolitical skullduggery arguably gives him more power than he deserves.
The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman warned that his country "will have to take reciprocal measures" if the issue of the confiscated compounds is not resolved.
"We don't want to resort to extreme measures".
"We strongly urge the State Department not to return the diplomatic compounds in Maryland and NY to the Government of the Russian Federation at this time", they wrote.
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 U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian state-sponsored hackers and propagandists interfered in last year's White House race by targeting Mr. Trump's former Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
The US is now denying issuing visas to Russian diplomats waiting to replace those who were expelled, according to Zakharova.
"The staff of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow far exceeds the number of our embassy workers in Washington", she said. "One of our options, apart from a tit-for-tat expulsion of Americans, would be to even out the numbers". He told CNN the White House was considering what to do regarding the diplomatic compounds in order to improve that relationship.
The warning to not only expel U.S. diplomats and arrest USA diplomatic property, but to considerably cut the personnel of the USA embassy in Russian Federation looks like a measure which will backfire not on President Trump but on the State Department and its everyday work.
Russia's leadership, including Vladimir Putin, have dismissed time and again the accusations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 USA elections - in spite of the findings announced by the United States intelligence community.