Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

USA might return Eastern Shore compound to Russians

The White House is now exploring turning the estates - one of which is in Oyster Bay - back over to Moscow, the Washington Post reported.

The FBI and at four congressional committees are probing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race, including potential collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow. Russian Federation had barred the USA from continuing work on the consulate in 2014 after the US imposed sanctions on Russian Federation.

A Trump administration official, in early May, spoke with a Russian counterpart about potentially returning the compounds, the newspaper reported.

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.

Russian Federation owned the compounds, which had diplomatic immunity, since before the Soviet Union dissolved.

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

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the White House initially proposed an exchange in early April: The United States would potentially give Russian Federation back its compounds - one near New York City and one in Maryland - if Russian Federation would allow the resume construction of its St. Petersburg consulate, halted in response to 2014 sanctions the US issued over Ukraine.

"These weren't just diplomatic facilities and recreation areas".

President Trump is considering handing back to Russian Federation both compounds - one near New York City and another on Maryland's Eastern Shore - less than six months after his predecessor gave Moscow a day's notice to abandon both in response to Russia's alleged election meddling, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing several unnamed sources privy to the possibility. "They were doing signals intelligence and computers intelligence in support of Russian operations".

Then-Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin at the time shamed the USA for emptying the compound out during the holiday season.

Flynn left his White House job after barely three weeks when it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence - who headed the transition team - about what he discussed with Kislyak.

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