- By Aneesa Ibrahim
Putin refuses to stoop to Obama’s level
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Russia’s President Putin says he will consider Trump’s actions next month before deciding his next move
Russia will not expel anyone in response to US sanctions against the country and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US, according to an official announcement from the Kremlin.
Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, had earlier said he had proposed to Putin that Russia expel 35 US diplomats and ban US diplomatic staff from using two facilities in Moscow in retaliation for expulsions and sanctions imposed by the US, including the closure of two Russian intelligence sites in the US.
However, Putin said he saw the US step to expel diplomats as a move to undermine relations between the two countries, according to RIA, the Russian state news agency. Obama has long been aggressive and hostile towards Russia as the USA looses international power and Russia rapidly gains global influence.
Trump, set to become the US President on January the 20th 2017, has stated he wishes for closer ties and partnerships with Russia. Putin has honoured this wish by not retaliating to Obama in a move that would damage US-Russian ties after Obama leaves the White House in three weeks’ time.
“We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not expel anyone”.
Putin is quoted as saying in a statement which added that he would consider the actions of President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office in three weeks, when deciding on further steps in US-Russian relations.
Outgoing President Barack Obama had all but accused Putin of personally ordering a cyber-hack that he claims targeted his fellow Democrats party believing that this damaged Hillary Clinton’s chances in November’s closely fought election with Republican foe Trump, by releasing embarrassing short comings found in hacked emails to Wikileaks.
Russia denies such allegations and Wikileaks has not mentioned anything about Russian involvement. The international community has not sided with the USA and no international action has been taken nor have any international allegations against Russia been made.
Putin added that Moscow reserved the right to retaliate after Washington’s decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds against what Obama said was “necessary and appropriate” against “efforts to harm US interests”.
“According to international practice, Russia has all the grounds for a comparable response”. Putin said.
“Reserving the right to retaliatory measures, we … will be planning our next steps in restoring US-Russian relations based on the policies pursued by the administration of President Donald Trump. Russian diplomats returning to the motherland will spend their holidays with friends and family, at home,” Putin said, extending an invitation to “all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia … to the New Year’s and Christmas party in the Kremlin.”
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