President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that regardless of Barack Obama’s resolution to banish 35 Russian operatives, he does not intend to follow his footsteps.
This decision of Obama’s comes after certain speculations that Russians hackers were interfering on American soil. Additionally Obama confirmed that America will no longer give areas in NYC and Maryland to the Russians to perform some intelligence activities as they have so far.
Putin spoke about the incident saying, “Russia’s foreign ministry… has requested that the Russian president approve declaring as persona non grata 31 employees of the US embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US consulate in Saint Petersburg,” said Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. He also insisted that two U.S. diplomatic compounds were closed.
Putin dismissed all the childish behavior that were routine during the Cold War era and said, “We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship.”
“This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole,” Putin said in a statement. Russia has denied hacking any American political organizations.
“Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration,” he added.
“We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin,” Putin added.
Then he also spoke on Obama as well as President-elect Donald Trump.
“It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family,” he said. “My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.”
According to one expert, Putin’s comeback was very well thought and contemplated.
“This was a carefully stage-managed response from Mr. Putin – dangling the possibility of tit-for-tat expulsions and then showing magnanimity in postponing any response – at least for now,” wrote Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.
“It is fundamentally a put-down for the Obama administration, suggesting that, in Moscow’s view, it is such a lame-duck, so irrelevant, as to make any response unnecessary,” he added.
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