Trump All Praise For Putin After Russian President Says He Won’t Expel US Diplomats

BY Edit Platter Desk | PUBLISHED: 31 December 2016

Washington: US President-Elect Donald Trump was all praise for “smart” Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday after the latter said he would refrain from deporting US diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to US hacking sanctions, a move which is being seen as Russia’s intent to cultivate relations with the incoming administration.

“We won’t create problems for American diplomats,” Putin said in a statement Friday afternoon, adding that Russia reserved the right to punish US diplomats at the time of their choosing, Washington Post reports.

The Russian President said he would “plan further steps for restoring the Russian-American relationship based on the policies enacted by the administration of President Donald Trump.”

Hours later Trump tweeted praising Putin for his “great” decision.

However, at the same time he took a dim view of Russian panelists appearing on US news channels.

The US State Department, however, declined to comment on Putin’s remarks: “We have seen President Putin’s remarks. We have nothing further to add.”

Putin made the statement hours after the Russian Foreign Ministry’s suggestion of a tit-for-tit response to the expulsion of its diplomats from the US on “ungrounded” allegations of its interference into last month’s presidential elections

The Ministry advised Putin to expel 35 US diplomats and close two properties used by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in retaliation to the Obama administration’s decision to expel 35 Russian “intelligence operatives” from the United States, giving them 72 hours to leave the country.

The US also ordered closure of Russian-owned facilities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and on Long Island in New York believed to have been used for intelligence purposes.

“It is regrettable that the Obama administration, which started out by restoring our ties, is ending its term in an anti-Russia agony. RIP,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Tweeted.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier suggested that 31 employees of the US Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg be declared “persona non grata” and asked to leave the country like their counterparts in the US.

He also called for banning of a vacation cottage, or dacha, on the outskirts of Moscow often used for holiday receptions and a warehouse in Moscow used by diplomatic staff as part of its diplomatic retaliation to US actions.

“We hope that these proposals will be considered as quickly as possible,” Lavrov said, adding that “Of course, we cannot leave such acts unanswered; reciprocity is a diplomatic law in international relations.”

Lavrov once against refuted allegations of US intelligence agencies that Russian state-backed hackers had helped Trump get the White House by leaking information about former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Click here to read Washington Post report

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Source - Edit Platter / Washington Post

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31 December 2016