The Trump administration is considering allowing Russian officials to return to two diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland after the Obama administration ejected the Russians from the compounds as part of U.S. sanctions after Russia meddled in the 2016 election, according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday evening.
The Obama administration directed Russians to leave the compounds in December 2016 and said that Russia had used the compounds for spying.
The Trump administration has yet to finalize any plans to let Russia use the compounds again. The Trump administration had informed Russia that the United Sates would let them used the compounds again if Russia would let the country resume building a new consulate in St. Petersburg, according to the Washington Post. Russia had barred the United States from continuing work on the consulate in 2014, after sanctions on Russia were imposed.
However, the administration changed its position just two days later, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson telling Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that the United States would not tie Russia’s return to the compounds to the country’s ability to keep building the consulate, according to the Washington Post.
R.C. Hammond, an adviser to Tillerson, told the Post that “the U.S. and Russia have reached no agreements.”
Even if the Trump administration does allow Russia to use the compounds again, it is considering restricting the use of the properties, such as revoking diplomatic immunity there, per the Washington Post.
Read the full report at the Washington Post.