One probably couldn’t blame Russia if its government responded in kind to U.S. outgoing-President Barack’s Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats this week. But instead of expelling American diplomats from Russia, the government there acted with kindness, and with class.
It bodes well for future relations between the two countries, and for the world as a result.
The president of Russia issued the following statement today, posted on its website. I’m running it here because it speaks of government maturity and class, and exhibits the sort of responsibility we expect from powerful leaders:
Statement by the President of Russia
December 30, 2016
We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. 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.
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.
The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite 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. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.
My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.
I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.
Photo credit: The Kremlin in Moscow. (Alexandergusev/Wikipedia)