Russian president Vladimir Putin is not an individual one can easily fool. Despite suggestions from the foreign ministry to expel 35 American diplomats in response to President Obama’s similar sanctions, Putin is not taking the bait. On Friday, Putin announced he will not be expelling any Americans from his country, mentioning Obama’s act was designed to provoke a reaction.
In his formal statement, Putin mentions the Obama administration swung low by targeting foreign diplomats and their families days before New Year’s celebrations. An excerpt of his statement from the Kremlin website can be read below:
“We reserve the right to retaliate, but we will not sink to the level of this irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy. We will take further moves on restoring Russian-American relations based on the policies that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump adopts. We will not forbid families and children from spending the New Year’s holidays at the places they are used to. Moreover, I invite the children of all American diplomats with accreditation in Russia to New Year’s and Christmas festivities in the Kremlin.”
Putin then further mentions Obama is ending his last few days in the White House on a low note, followed by an ending line congratulating Trump: “I congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and the entire American people!”
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