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U.S. Senators warn Trump against returning seized Russian diplomatic compounds


Three U.S. senators warned President Donald Trump against making any deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin to return two seized Russian diplomatic compounds, a letter from the lawmakers showed.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Marco Rubio and Johnny Iakson gave the warning in their letter to Trump.
“The return of these two facilities to Russia while the Kremlin refuses to address its influence campaign against the U.S. would embolden President Vladimir Putin and invite a dangerous escalation in the Kremlin’s destabilising actions against democracies worldwide,” they said.

The senators wrote their letter ahead of a scheduled face-to-face meeting between Putin and Trump on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg.

Senior Trump administration officials have said that the two leaders could discuss the return of the two diplomatic compounds in the U.S. states of New York and Maryland.

But the three senators urged Trump to “remove the return of these facilities from any negotiation or consideration in your discussions with President Putin during your upcoming trip.”

Former President Barack Obama shut down the two compounds in December 2016, amid allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Russia denies meddling in the vote, insisting that it does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

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