World

Russia warns US of retaliation over Obama-era expulsions

BRUSSELS: Russia is considering retaliatory measures against the US over its expulsion of 35 diplomats and the seizure of two diplomatic compounds last year, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The threat represented a change in the Kremlin's stance - Russia initially chose not to respond to the steps taken by then outgoing US president Barack Obama in December.

The subject, however, came up during US President Donald Trump's first face-to-face meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last week.

"If Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions, and this is the rule of diplomacy, of reciprocity, of international affairs," Mr Lavrov said. "We are hopeful the US, as a proponent of the rule of law, will respect international obligations."

Earlier, he said Mr Obama's "outrageous" move was designed "to poison Russian-American relations" and "do everything to put the Trump administration in a trap". - AFP

Barack ObamaRussiapolitics