Vlad the Imparter answers Obama's expulsion order
with softer, kinder
Russian President Vladimir Putin broke with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov - who had earlier vowed to expel 35 U.S. diplomats in response to the same move by the Obama administration - announcing Russia would not stoop to unilateral pettiness displayed by outgoing American leadership, stating:
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right,
and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left.
Further, Putin deftly admonished the timing of actions by the U.S., promising American diplomats in Russia would encounter no restrictions of movement or business - and even extended a personal invitation their children spend the New Year holiday celebrating around the Christmas tree at the Kremlin.
Yesterday, the White House issued an eleventh-hour amendment to a 2015 Executive Order allowing proportional cyber and military response to attacks on "critical infrastructure" to include State actors who,
By so doing, the administration was then able to issue sanctions against Russian entities and individuals - including the expulsion of 35 diplomats from the United States within 72 hours of the decree, and barring entry to two compounds - as a response for allegations 'Russian hackers' had interfered in the presidential election.
Obama boldly declared,
...intimating these actions were coordinated from as high a position as Putin, himself - an accusation previously and repeatedly laughed off by Russian officials.
Indeed, no proof of the 'hackers' claim has yet been offered - a joint 'report' from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the same day bore no evidence Russian State actors had meddled in the electoral process, much less hacked systems of the Democratic Party or the election.
Notably, that joint 'report' even came with a disclaimer which, in essence, says DHS does not back the information it contains, stating,
Full Report at "GRIZZLY STEPPE - Russian Malicious Cyber Activity"
Russian politicians expressed disgust with the moves by the Obama administration - undertaken despite the complete lack of evidence Russia had done anything wrong - as a provocation from a moot regime on its way out of office.
Konstantin Dolgov, Russian Commissioner Foreign Ministry on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, replied to the expulsion of diplomats and barring of entry into two Russian-owned compounds located inside the U.S., noting,
Lavrov balked at the overtly aggressive actions, stating publicly the moves could not go unanswered:
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the International Committee of the Russian Upper House of Parliament, told RIA Novosti, as cited by the Observer,
Putin - seemingly the only cool head in heightening tensions between the two former Cold War foes - decided against the tit-for-tat actions traditionally permitted under rules of international diplomacy, and instead brutally but flatly excoriated the Obama regime, noting:
In one fell swoop - with an iciness biting to the bone - it appears Putin can be declared the victor in this absurd and unnecessary battle of will...