Putin Refuses To Expel US Diplomats
MOSCOW (dpa-AFX) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that his Government will not retaliate against the US punitive action against its 35 diplomatic officials.
The US State Department Thursday expelled 35 Russian officials operating in the United States saying that they were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic or consular status.
A day after, Russian Foreign Ministry declared 35 US diplomats - 31 personnel of the US embassy in Moscow and four of the consulate general in St. Petersburg -- persona non grata.
The Russian Foreign Ministry had sought Putin's ratification of the punitive action.
But the President did not yield to the Foreign ministry's recommendation.
"The Russian diplomats returning home will spend the New Year Holidays with their relatives and dear ones. At home. We will not create problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anybody," said a Kremlin press statement quoting Putin.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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