Putin decides not to expel U.S. diplomats from Russia

The Russian President invited the children of U.S. diplomats to a New Year party in the Kremlin.

 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has made a decision not to expel any U.S. diplomats from Russia in retaliation for Washington’s latest sanctions against Moscow and invited their children to a New Year party at the Kremlin.

 

U.S. sanctions

 

On December 29, 2016, the administration of President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions on Moscow over its supposed cyberattacks on U.S. institutions. The restrictive measures announced apply to some Russian companies, as well as to the Federal Security Service and the Russian General Staff’s Main Department and its senior officials. In addition to that, U.S. authorities declared 35 Russian diplomats in the U.S. to be persona non grata. Washington also informed Moscow that it would deny Russian personnel access to two recreational compounds in the United States owned by the Russian government.

 

Moscow has repeatedly denied involvement in any of the cyberattacks. Commenting on the new sanctions, the spokesman for the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the new measures are a manifestation of aggression.

 

Russia will not stoop to diplomatic catfight

 

President Putin noted that Washington’s end-of-the-year actions against Russia cause damage not only to the bilateral relations, but also to the world as a whole. “We consider the new unfriendly steps by the outgoing U.S. administration to be provocative and aimed at further undermining the Russian-American relations,” he said. “This definitely contravenes the fundamental interests of both the Russian and the American people.”

 

“In view of the special responsibility of Russia and the United States for the preservation of global security, this move causes damage to a whole range of international relations,” the Russian leader added.

 

The President stressed that in accordance with the established international practice, Moscow has every reason for an adequate response. According to President Putin, Russia reserves the right to retaliate, but will not stoop to a diplomatic catfight. “While reserving the right to take retaliatory measures, we will not stoop to the level of the so-called ‘catfight,’ irresponsible diplomacy, and will take further steps to restore the Russian-American relations [with] account [of] the policy that will be pursued by the administration of President Donald Trump,” Mr. Putin said.

 

New Year holidays for U.S. diplomats in Russia

 

Russia will not expel U.S. diplomats from Russia in response to Washington’s sanctions. “We will not create problems for U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anybody,” the Russian President said in a statement. Mr. Putin also said that Russia will not prevent the families and the children of diplomats from using their rest and leisure facilities and sites during the New Year’s holidays. “Moreover, I am inviting all children of U.S. diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas parties at the Kremlin,” Mr. Putin said.

 

Congratulations to Obama and Trump

 

The Russian leader voiced regret over the fact that “the administration of President Barack Obama is ending its work in this way.” “Nevertheless, I wish him and members of his family a happy New Year. I also congratulate President-elect Trump and the American people. I wish all of you success and prosperity,” the statement reads.

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