Russian Federation responds to latest Trump collusion controversy

Monday, 04 Sep, 2017

"We regret the unconstructive stance taken by our counterparts in the United States and, of course, we can not afford to leave unfriendly, and sometimes hostile steps towards us without retaliation", TASS cited him as saying.

"The call was very professional, and they agreed to work to improve the relations" said the United States official.

Cohen emerged as a key figure in the dossier, which was researched and written by a former British spy and published by BuzzFeed News in January after security officials had briefed President Barack Obama and Trump, who was then president-elect, about it.

USA intelligence officials included a summary of the unsubstantiated dossier in an annex to a January briefing for President Barack Obama and then-President-elect Trump.

There was no immediate reaction from the Russian government. "There's no real reason for them to go back".

In July Russia demanded more than 700 USA diplomats stationed in Russia be immediately expelled from the country after Congress passed new sanctions on a number of government officials close to President Vladimir Putin. Trump only reluctantly signed off on the Congress-backed sanctions, describing them as "significantly flawed" and partially unconstitutional. The Russians promised a tough response to this move by Washington.

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that Cohen had been in negotiations with Sater to attempt to build a Trump Tower in the Russian capital from September 2015 through the end of January 2016, as Trump was competing for the Republican nomination for president.

Other sanctions followed from the Treasury Department throughout 2014, targeting the Russian financial services, energy and defense sectors, among other areas.

The U.S. announcement was the latest development in a diplomatic "tit-for-tat" between the two sides.

The United States imposition of sanctions on Russian Federation was met with a tough response when 700 USA diplomats were kicked out by Putin last month. In a statement, Trump calls the bill "seriously flawed".

In a statement quoted by ABC, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he regrets "the escalation of tensions" and that the Kremlin will examine the new order more carefully before crafting its response.

August 21: The U.S. Embassy stops issuing visas to Russians as a diplomatic spat worsens.

"We are requiring the Russian Government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, DC and a consular annex in New York City", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Thursday.

Now, more than half a year into Trump's term, the State Department says relations between the two countries are in a "downward spiral" - but adds that, in the interest of arresting that slide, it will not be pursuing true parity in diplomatic sites.