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Foreign Affairs

Putin Shrugs Off Obama’s Retaliatory Actions

Written by Philip Hodges

Obama had promised to retaliate against Russia for allegedly rigging the U.S. election in favor of Trump. Part of his retaliation was expelling 35 Russian diplomats, sanctioning other Russian intelligence operatives and shutting down a couple Russian entities. The diplomats have until this Sunday to leave the country.

At first, it seemed as if Russia was going to respond in kind – that they’d similarly expel U.S. diplomats from Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that “we cannot leave such acts unanswered” and “reciprocity is part of diplomatic law.” Putin spokesman Peskov added: “There is no doubt that Russia’s adequate and mirror response will make Washington officials feel very uncomfortable as well.”

Then, in a surprise move by Putin on Friday morning, he decided not to do anything in response. Here’s what Putin had to say:

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. 

As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. 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.

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 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. 

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.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Philip Hodges

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