Washington, DC. The government of the Russian Federation has tendered a letter of demand to the United States of America to return property illegally taken from it’s diplomatic personnel.
Russia has raised the issue of the return of Russian diplomatic property seized under the administration of the previous US President, Barack Obama. The matter was discussed during a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
While the exact list of property is not publicly known, it includes vehicles, properties, personal effects and unknown amounts of funds on deposit in US banks. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the conversation took place on April 21 at the initiative of the American side.
“Some issues on the bilateral agenda were considered. Lavrov re-emphasized the demand for the return of Russian diplomatic property illegally seized by the Obama Administration. The parties agreed on the early start of a joint working group at the level of deputy foreign ministers to find ways to eliminate “irritants” from bilateral relations, “the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In late December 2016, the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and people close to them because their actions “did not correspond to their diplomatic status or the status of consular employees.” The Russians did not respond in similar fashion, as they were under the impression at the time US-Russian relations would be better under Trump, not worse as they have in fact ended up.