Trump administration may return Russian compounds in New York, Maryland

However, now even that offer has transformed into a simple gift by the Trump administration to the Russian government, with the US receiving nothing in exchange for presenting these properties back to Russia. They are directly related to the very Russian activities involving Trump and the 2016 United States presidential election that are now under investigation.

The facilities, long believed to be used for intelligence gathering, were cleaned out on December 29 as then-President Obama slammed Russian Federation with sanctions for its alleged role in trying to influence the 2016 election.

"The U.S. and Russian Federation have reached no agreements", R.C. Hammond, senior communications adviser for the U.S. State Department, told NBC News on Wednesday evening.

The Trump White House is reportedly seriously considering allowing Russian Federation to resume its use of two diplomatic facilities that were shuttered during the final weeks of the Obama administration in December 2016.

For decades, Russian Federation asserted that it used the compounds as luxury event spaces where United Nations officials and ambassadors could enjoy recreational activities and carouse in comfort, but according to the Post, the USA has long suspected the properties were actually spy sites.

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A senior USA official who deals with foreign policy told NBC News that he hadn't heard about the purported initiative to restore Russia's rights at the two compounds, but he said the Trump administration is intent on improving relations despite investigations into alleged Russian interference.

The Washington Post reported that Trump officials are specifically looking at whether to grant diplomatic immunity for the compounds - if they're returned.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a meeting in Washington that the compounds may soon be handed back without needing an agreement on the consulate, according to "several people with knowledge of the exchanges".

Without the protection, US law enforcement can investigate it like any other stateside structure, according to the Washington Post.

"These weren't just diplomatic facilities and recreation areas". One of the steps taken was the closure of two compounds - one in Maryland and one in NY - reportedly used by Russian officials furtherance of their espionage activities. "They were doing signals intelligence and computers intelligence in support of Russian operations". The Kremlin has opposed the project since 2014, when the USA issued sanctions related to Ukraine.

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