Updated at 10:56 a.m. ET
Russia said two Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland seized by the Obama administration in retaliation for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election are no closer to being returned after talks Monday in Washington—and warned of a strong response.
“We came up with a number of ideas on how to achieve a visible and tangible improvement in relations. This also applies to the issue of the unconditional return of the Russian diplomatic property to us,” Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, told TASS on Tuesday in Moscow. “However, it would be an exaggeration to say that we are on the verge of finding a solution and resolving this situation.”
Ryabkov said his talks Monday with Thomas Shannon, the Number 2 U.S. diplomat, in Washington “went off predictably.”
“We expected great difficulties during the consultations with the Americans not only on the diplomatic property issue, but on most other issues as well, and so it happened,” he told TASS.
In a note to the media, the U.S. State Department said the conversation was “tough, forthright, and deliberate, reflecting both parties’ commitment to a resolution.The United States and Russia seek a long-term solution that would address areas of bilateral concern that have strained the relationship. The talks reflected a spirit of goodwill, but it is clear that more work needs to be done.”