Vladimir the merciful?
Subsequent this morning’s accounts that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would advise to Russian President Vladimir Putin a retaliation in kind, and expel 35 American diplomats, declaring that “we cannot leave such acts unanswered. Reciprocity is part of diplomatic law” with Putin spokesman Peskov including that “there is no doubt that Russia’s adequate and mirror response will make Washington officials feel very uncomfortable as well”, it was inevitably up to Putin to choose how to react to the US.
Which he did on Friday morning, when in a magnificent reversal, the Russian leader took the high road, refused the Lavrov pitch, and in a statement published by the Kremlin stated that Russia will not expel any Americans in retaliation to US decisions, in a ferocious display of just how unimportant Obama’s 11th hour determination is for US-Russian relations.
The reversal comes as Russian officials portrayed U.S. sanctions as a last act of a lame-duck president and advised that Trump could reverse them when he takes over the White House in January.
President Obama expels 35 diplomats in Cold War deja vu. As everybody, incl people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless Adm. pic.twitter.com/mleqA16H8D
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) December 29, 2016
Earlier Russian Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev stated the Obama administration was ending its term in “anti-Russia death throes.”
“It is regrettable that the Obama administration, which started out by restoring our ties, is ending its term in an anti-Russia death throes. RIP,” Medvedev, who served as president in 2009 when Obama attempted to improve Russia-U.S. relations, wrote on his official Facebook page.
In the just released statement, Putin chuckled off Obama’s 11th hour temper tantrum, and stated that Russia will not cause complications to U.S. diplomats or deport anyone, including that Russia has the right to respond in tit-for-tat fashion, but it will not engage in irresponsible diplomacy.
The punchline, nevertheless, was saved for what might be Russia’s final slam of the ordeal that is Obama’s administration stating that “It’s a pity that the current U.S. administration is finishing their work in such a manner” expressing that Russia abstains “to sink to the level of this irresponsible “kitchen” diplomacy.”
Putin concluded the statement by congratulating U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and the American folks on the New Year and invited the children of US diplomats to a holiday celebration at the Kremlin.
From the full statement published on the Kremlin website:
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.
And with that one assertion, Obama lost the diplomatic war with Russia.
* * *
Full Putin statement below:
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.
These People Are A Danger To Themselves And Others! Wake Up!!!!!!
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