- Title: Putin says will not expel anyone in response to U.S. sanctions
- Date: 30th December 2016
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (DECEMBER 30, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS VIEWS OF KREMLIN
- Embargoed: 14th January 2017 13:19
- Keywords: Russia United States Vladimir Putin diplomats expulsion Barak Obama DonaldTrump
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015F2QFRB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: President Vladimir Putin on Friday (December 30) said Russia will not expel anyone in retaliation for Washington's decision to throw out 35 Russian diplomats and impose sanctions on two of the country's intelligence agencies and invited the children of the U.S. diplomats to attend Christmas celebration in the Kremlin.
The text of Putin's statement posted on the Kremlin website said he would consider the actions of President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office next month, when deciding on further steps in Russia-U.S. relations.
"We are keeping the right to retaliate, but we will not sink to the level of "kitchen", irresponsible diplomacy and we will build our further steps aimed at restoring Russian-American relations depending on the policy, which will be carried out by the U.S. President Donald Trump's administration," the statement said.
"We will not create problems for the U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not ban their families and children from using recreational facilities they usually use during the New Year holidays. Moreover, we invite all children of the U.S. diplomats accredited in Russia, to attend the New Year and Christmas celebration in the Kremlin."
Putin also wished happy New Year to President Barak Obama and his family as well as president-elect Donald Trump and all the people of America.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed to Putin that Moscow expel 35 U.S. diplomats and ban U.S. diplomatic staff from using two facilities in Moscow, his ministry said.
This followed President Barack Obama's decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying and to impose sanctions on the two Russian intelligence agencies over their alleged involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Lavrov said the allegations that Russia interfered in the U.S. election were baseless.
Russian officials have portrayed the U.S. sanctions as a last act of a lame-duck president and suggested that Trump could reverse them when he takes over the White House in January.
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