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High-level talks between U.S. and Russian Federation set to resume

13 Juillet 2017

The goal was to pave the way for future cooperation on Syria and other global issues by first building trust through discussions about smaller issues - including a pair of shuttered Russian compounds in the US that the Kremlin wants back.

Career diplomat Thomas Shannon, the US State Department's third-in-command, will host Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov in Washington on July 17, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

The announcement came after Russia's top diplomat threatened retaliation if the United States did not return two Russian diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland that were seized by the Obama administration in December.

The dialogue had been set up to address irritants between the two countries and to try to restore enough trust so that bigger issues like Syria and Ukraine could eventually be addressed.

Ryabkov says President Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Germany paved the way for relations to improve. Ryabkov, speaking in Tehran to Russian media Tuesday, said the presidential meeting had inspired a "certain hope that the situation will change for the better".

Driving the agenda for the meeting is a set of grievances both countries want the other to address, including USA calls for Moscow to stop harassing American diplomats and to lift a ban on US adoptions of Russian children. The Kremlin is keenly focused on getting the U.S.to return control of two Cold War-era recreational estates - one in Maryland, one in NY - that former President Barack Obama seized in December as part of his response to Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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The Kremlin is keenly focused on getting the United States to return control of its two Cold War-era recreational estates that former President Barack Obama seized as part of his response to Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"If this does not happen, if we see that this step is not seen as essential in Washington, then of course we will take retaliatory measures".

Though Putin declined to retaliate in December for Obama's response - which also included expelling 35 Russian diplomats the USA said were really spies - frustration has mounted in Moscow amid disappointment that Trump has not reversed those actions.

"We hope that the United States, as a country which promotes the rule of law, will respect its global obligations", Lavrov said after a meeting in Brussels with European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Lavrov declined to elaborate. He declined to elaborate, but Russian officials have previously floated the prospect of kicking out about 30 USA diplomats and seizing American government property. "Our dialogue with the United States remains hard", he told Russian reporters in Tehran.

High-level talks between U.S. and Russian Federation set to resume