by Adam Garrie, The Duran: Russia is getting increasingly fed up with the protracted situation.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called the US seizure of Russian embassy property in the United States, “daylight robbery”. He added,
“It looks like some highway thieves are commenting on this situation”.
He implicated the Obama administration as guilty of trying to make thigns more difficult for Donald Trump via their preferred target, Russia.
“…how else they (Obama officials) could ruin (Moscow’s) relations with Washington in such a way that the Trump administration would fail to restore them”.
Last week, Julian Assange laid out how the seizure of the Russian property which is legally the territory of the Russian Federation violates international law according to the Vienna Convention.
The situation arose in December of last year when the Obama administration seized the property in conjunction with expulsions of Russian diplomats and embassy officials.
Russia had waited to directly raise the issue with the US until Donald Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Russia has subsequently threatened to expel US diplomats from Russia, although Russia has not threatened to seize any US property in Russia.
As The Duran previously reported,
“As Russia threatens to expel US diplomats from the Russian Federation in retaliation for the still unresolved and unatoned for expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and embassy workers (including chefs) and the seizure of Russian property in the US by order of Barack Obama in his last month in office, the biggest question is not why but why now?
It is wise to remember that at the time, Vladimir Putin very publicly declined to take retaliatory measures against the United States. Instead, he issued a public statement that was both a dig at the very lame duck Obama and one which extended a proverbial olive branch to then President-elect Trump. President Putin’s statement is reproduced below in its entirety.
“We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole. As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.
The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.
It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.
My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. I wish all of you happiness and prosperity”.