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Friday, December 30

Mr Obama, Mr Putin is more respected than you because he acts like an adult (UPDATED)

UPDATE
Mr Putin did not order the Anglo-American school in Moscow closed. It was a false news story put out by CNN. 

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Putin said that unlike the Obama administration, Russia will not target foreign diplomats and their families days before New Year’s celebrations.

Sputnik, December 30:
[...]
On Thursday unmarked SUVs surrounded a Maryland property belonging to the Russian Embassy to the United States to send a clear signal: Russians are not welcome anymore. The Obama administration designated the vacation retreat as a compound used for ‘spying purposes’ without expanding on what kind of spying was going on in the remote location.
Unsurprisingly, it is extremely difficult to justify intelligence gathering here, as no military base or government building can be found anywhere nearby and everyone in the neighborhood has known for decades that the spot is a retreat for Russian diplomats and their families. If you had been a spy, coming here would be the best way to blow your cover. Nevertheless, this quaint family vacation spot is what the US has targeted in their latest round of sanctions.

Putin: Russia will not expel anyone in response to US sanctions
30 Dec, 2016 12:30 (Edited 14:03)
RT

The Russian president has rejected a suggestion of the foreign ministry to expel 35 American diplomats in response to a similar move by the US. He said Obama’s act was designed to provoke a reaction, but Russia would not take the bait.

“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,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement published by the Kremlin website.

Putin said that unlike the Obama administration, Russia will not target foreign diplomats and their families days before New Year’s celebrations.

“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,” the Russian president said.

Putin said he regretted that US President Barack Obama is ending his term “in such a way,” but that he extended his New Year’s congratulations to the outgoing US president and his family nevertheless.

“I congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and the entire American people!” he concluded.

The Kremlin said it will send a government plane to the US to evacuate the expelled diplomats and their family members. Earlier, there were reports that the diplomats were having problems

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that Russia respond to the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US by expelling 35 American diplomats from Russia. Similarly, the eviction of a Russian diplomatic staff from two vacation houses in the US would be mirrored by a similar eviction of Americans in Russia.

President Obama targeted Russian diplomats as a part of wider sanctions against Russian, which he justified by the alleged interference by the Russian government in the November presidential election in the US. Moscow denies the allegations.

The US claimed that the vacation houses had been used for espionage. Russia insists that they were used by the diplomatic staff to spend holidays with their families.

[END REPORT]

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