04:11 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Russia Will Determine Steps in Restoring Ties With US Depending on Trump - Putin

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow will determine further steps in restoring ties with the United States depending on the policy of President-elect Donald Trump.

    "Reserving the right to retaliate, we will not resort to the level of irresponsible 'kitchen' diplomacy and further steps toward the restoration of Russian-US relations will be based on the policy carried out by the administration of President Donald Trump."

    The star atop the Vodovzvodnaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin. Right: the Grand Kremlin Palace, and the Church of St. John Climacus the Ivan the Great Bell Tower
    © Sputnik / Alexey Druzginin/Anton Denisov/Russian Presidential Press Office
    Russia will not expel anyone as a response to US sanctions against Moscow over alleged hacking, Putin said.

    However, Putin said that Russia reserves the right to respond to the new US sanctions.

    "We regard the new unfriendly steps of the outgoing US administration as provocation aimed at further undermining Russian-US relations."

    On Thursday, US outgoing President Barack Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, the closing of two Russian diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities over Moscow's alleged interference in the November US presidential election, which the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

    "This is clearly contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and US citizens. In view of Russia's and the US' special responsibility for the preservation of global security, [this] also damages the entire system of international relations," Putin said.

    Putin said that he regrets that the Obama administration finishes its work in such a way.

    "It's regrettable that the President Obama administration is finishing its work in such a way, but I congratulate him and members of his family with the upcoming New Year anyway," Putin said.

    The star atop the Vodovzvodnaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin. Right: the Grand Kremlin Palace, and the Church of St. John Climacus the Ivan the Great Bell Tower
    © Sputnik / Alexey Druzginin/Anton Denisov/Russian Presidential Press Office
    Putin said that Moscow will not ban US diplomats' families and children from using their preferred holiday destinations in Russia for New Year celebrations.

    "We will not create problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prohibit their families and children to use their usual vacation spots in the New Year's holidays. Moreover, i am inviting all children of the US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year's and Christmas celebration in the Kremlin."

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the ministry proposed the president to consider declaring 31 US Embassy in Moscow and four US Consulate General in St. Petersburg employees 'persona non grata' as well as ban the use of a vacation retreat by US diplomats.

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    Tags:
    anti-Russian sanctions, hacking, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States, Russia
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