Russians go tit-for-tat
(INTELLIHUB) — On Friday, the Kremlin announced plans to expel 35 U.S. diplomats and ban U.S. diplomatic staff from using a holiday home and a warehouse in Moscow in a tit-for-tat response to Washington’s sanctions, Russian news agencies said.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was cited by the agencies as saying he had proposed the measures to President Vladimir Putin.
” […] has requested that the Russian president approve declaring as personae non gratae 31 employees of the U.S. embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the U.S. consulate in Saint Petersburg,” Lavrov said in televised remarks.
The ministry is also seeking to ban diplomats from using a holiday home located in western Moscow and a warehouse in the north of the city, Lavrov said, after President Barack Obama said the U.S. would close two Russian compounds.
Lavrov said the two compounds, which are actually country houses, in New York and Maryland were used for children’s holidays and rejected the notion they were “nests of spies.”
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over unfounded claims they hacked the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
“We of course cannot leave these stunts unanswered. Reciprocity is the law in diplomacy and international relations,” he said, hoping that Putin approves the requests “promptly.”
He called allegations that Russia interfered in U.S. elections “ungrounded.”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev accused the outgoing Obama administration of ending in “anti-Russian death throes”.
No doubt, Russia is looking forward to working with a more friendly President Donald Trump starting from January 20th, 2017.