President Donald Trump is seriously considering returning US -based compounds that were taken away from Russians by President Barack Obama as punishment for Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The compounds were bought by the Soviet government last century.
Senior Tillerson adviser R.C. Hammond said "the USA and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", and the next senior- level meeting between the two governments will be in June in St. Petersburg, the Post reported.
But there could've been a good reason for this according to a report from The Washington Post.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a meeting in Washington, the United States had dropped any linkage between the compounds and the consulate, the Post reported. 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.
The Trump administration has yet to finalize any plans to let Russian Federation use the compounds again. "Washington Post is among them", Ryabkov said.
The Post's report outlined that "the administration is examining possible restrictions on Russian activities there, including removing the diplomatic immunity the properties previously enjoyed".
Another facility, in Centreville, Md., was also emptied as part of the sanctions.. The State Department separately ejected 35 diplomatic personnel suspected of being intelligence operatives. Russian officials repeatedly asserted during meetings with USA diplomats that Obama's action was illegal.
Equipment is removed from a Russian compound at Pioneer Point in Maryland in December after President Barack Obama imposed sanctions for Russia's alleged interference in the presidential campaign. "They know full well that those two facilities they mentioned, they are vacation facilities for our kids and this is Christmas, and this is vacation time for our schools".
Since the Reagan administration, US intelligence officials have claimed they were also being used for intelligence purposes.