The conditions that the United States sets over the return of Russian diplomatic property in New York and Maryland is akin to "daytime robbery," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday, calling the source who proposed an exchange.
"Is the source anonymous? Then they understand that their conscience is not clear. As for the essence, then — if so — this is daylight robbery," Lavrov told reporters in Belarus.
Lavrov added that russophobia in the United States does not give assurances that Moscow and Washington would be able to agree on key international issues.
"Such a zealous sense of urgency in seeking out some hidden channels of Russian influence over what is happening in the United States is clearly not subsiding, to my great regret, and does not add confidence that we would be able to establish normal cooperation in international relations," Lavrov said.Speaking to reporters in Belarus, he expressed an expectation "that Russophobia in Congress will still decline, if only because not a single fact has been presented in the many months of work by commissions and investigators."
In December 2016, Washington imposed a number of restrictive measures on Russia over Moscow’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election, including sanctions against several Russian individuals and entities, as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States.