On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin released an official statement responding to President Barack Obama’s sanctions against the Russians for their alleged involvement in meddling with the US Presidential elections. On Thursday, President Obama announced that the United States was going to close two Russian compounds located in the US and kick 35 Russian intelligence officials out of the country. Putin called these actions “unfriendly steps” that were “aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship.”
“We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship,” Putin said in the statement. “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 added that although Russia has the right to respond aggressively, they will not resort to the same sort of tactics as the Obama Administration. Instead, Moscow plans to wait for the Trump Administration to come into office to rebuild diplomatic relations.
“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,” Putin said.
The Russian President went on to say that those diplomats that Obama has ordered to be removed from the United States are welcome back to Russia with open arms. Furthermore, Putin ensured that American diplomats currently on their soil would not be disrupted for the holidays and invited “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,” Putin continued. “Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.”
Putin concluded the statement by offering some well wishes to the incoming American President and to the American people.
“My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people,” Putin said.
“I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.”