The Obama administration decided to expel 35 Russian diplomats as a response to the alleged Russian hacking of the US election.
Although some high ranking Russian officials have announced that Moscow will respond to the newest sanctions imposed by Washington, President Vladimir Putin has said that there will be no retaliation against US diplomats in Russia.
Earlier, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov has proposed that Russia throws out 35 US diplomats and ban US diplomatic staff from using a country house near Moscow.
Lavrov said that:
Russia’s foreign ministry … has requested that the Russian president approve declaring as personae non gratae 31 employees of the US embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US consulate in St Petersburg.
In a recent twist, CNN has reported “that Russian authorities have ordered the closing of the Anglo-American School of Moscow.”
An immediate response came from Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who wrote on Facebook:
US officials ‘anonymously informed’ their media that Russia closed the Anglo-American School in Moscow as a retaliatory measure. That’s a lie. Apparently, the White House has completely lost its senses and began inventing sanctions against its own children.
Zakharova delivered scathing remarks, accusing CNN of spreading false information:
The CNN TV channel and other Western media have again spread false information citing official American sources.
In the midst of a new breakdown of US/Russian diplomatic relations and increased tensions over the conflict in Syria, Russia President Vladimir Putin did not adopt Lavrov’s proposition.
In a statement published on Kremlin’s English website, Putin declared:
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 went on and said that he would be inviting “all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.”
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.
My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.
Not easy to provoke, Russian President may have dealt another embarrassing blow to the prestige of the outgoing Obama administration. Shaken by Trump’s victory in the Presidential election, Obama and the Democrat establishment have demonstrated how powerless they are in dealing with Putin.
Image: Russia Insider