Russian state news said, on Tuesday, that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was informed by the foreign minister that Moscow intends to take the United States to court over recently closed diplomatic properties.
During a post-Brics summit address, Putin announced plans to go to court over the seizure of the properties in the United States.
"The American side has stripped Russia of the right to use its property – this is obvious violation of proprietary rights of the Russian side. To begin with, I will issue instructions to the Foreign Ministry to take the case to court. Let us see how effectively the vaunted United States judicial system works," Putin said.
The announcement followed the United States' order for the closure of several of Russia's diplomatic locations in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco on Saturday. Russian president Vladimir Putin also said that the U.S. government may be asked to cut another 155 staff members if the conflict between the two countries persists.
"I will issue instructions to the Foreign Ministry to take the case to court. Let us see how effectively the vaunted U.S. judicial system works," Putin said at the BRICS conference in China.
The properties were closed in response to Russia barring 755 U.S. diplomats and staff from the mission in Russia.
The State Department said it would not speculate about a possible Russian retaliation. "We will say, however, that we are confident in the legality of the actions we announced and carried out last week," a senior State Department official said.
Additionally, the White House has declined to comment on Moscow's intent to sue. “We don’t comment on pending litigation,” an official told TASS news agency on Tuesday.
TASS reported that the office of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will decide whether a court will hear the case and what properties would feature in that case.
"The sides discussed the situation in bilateral relations and Lavrov stressed that the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States by the U.S. authorities is a flagrant violation of international law," the foreign ministry was quoted as saying.