Vladimir Putin pooh-poohed Obama’s attempt to punish Russia for allegedly hacking John Podesta’s gmail account.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the Kremlin “will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy” in response to new US sanctions for Russia’s suspected meddling in the US election process.
“Although we have the right to retaliate,” Putin said, Russia would instead “plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump administration.”
President Barack Obama issued new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, calling Russia’s “malicious cyber-enabled activities” a “national emergency” aimed at undermining democratic processes. He also said he would eject 35 Russian diplomats from the US, and he closed Russian compounds in New York and Maryland.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, initially suggested that Russia would respond in kind by ejecting 35 US diplomats in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
That idea was shot down by Putin, however, who has effectively chosen “not to dignify the measures taken against Russia with a response,” said Michael Kofman, a global fellow at the Wilson Center who specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs.
“This is frankly the most damaging and embarrassing answer we [the US] could receive,” Kofman told Business Insider on Friday. “It’s quite clear that both the Obama administration and Congress are trying to box Donald Trump in on Russia policy. But instead of responding to this latest salvo with predictable retaliatory measures, Russians have chosen to make them a nonissue.”
Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, noted that even the conflicting responses from Lavrov and Putin appeared strategic.
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