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Diplomatic Quid Pro Quo? Moscow’s Response to the Closure of Russian Compounds in the U.S.
In December 2016 then U.S. President Barack Obama approved a set of measures designed to retaliate against Russia for its increasingly violent harassment campaign of American diplomats and intelligence officers, especially those based in Moscow. Although not new, the severity of the harassment and intimidation efforts have “increased significantly” since Moscow’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, and Washington’s multiple rounds of sanctions in response. The measures approved by President Obama last winter were three-pronged. The first mandated the shuttering of two compounds used by Russian officials since the mid-1980s. The second evicted all Russian nationals from both compounds (one in Maryland, another in New York) within 24 hours. The third element resulted in the expulsion of 35 unnamed Russian officials and their families whom the Obama administration ch