Russia will plan its further steps to restore Russian-U.S. relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.
By Rakesh Raman
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin said today that the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing U.S. administration are provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-U.S. relationship.
Putin was responding to a number of actions that the U.S. President Barack Obama announced Thursday in response to the alleged interference of Russia in the U.S. presidential election that took place on November 8.
Although Russia had rejected the U.S. allegations, the Obama Administration believes that significant information was hacked by Russia in order to influence the outcome of the election.
“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 his response.
He added that Russia has the right to retaliate, but it will not resort to “irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy.”
Instead, Putin said, Russia will plan its further steps to restore Russian-U.S. relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.
Among various punitive measures, Obama Administration has declared “persona non grata” (unacceptable persons) 35 Russian intelligence operatives. In other words, these 35 Russian diplomats are being expelled from the U.S.
Putin said the diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. “We will not create any problems for U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anyone. I invite all children of U.S. diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin,” Putin said.
He added that 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. I wish all of you happiness and prosperity,” Putin stated.
Photo courtesy: Kremlin
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