Vladimir Putin says Russia will not expel US diplomats

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday decided not to expel any US diplomats in a shock move by Moscow after Washington turfed out dozens of its diplomats over alleged election interference.

Vladimir Putin says Russia will not expel US diplomats

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday decided not to expel any US diplomats in a shock move by Moscow after Washington turfed out dozens of its diplomats over alleged election interference.

Calling the moves a “provocation”, the Russian President said he would not “stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy”.

Putin said the 35 diplomats expelled from the US with their families on Thursday would be returning home to celebrate the New Year with relatives and friends.


“We will not create problems for American diplomats, we will not expel anyone," he continued in a statement, adding that Russia "reserves the right to retaliate".

Attempting to seize the moral high ground, he extended a public invite for the children of American diplomats to a New Year's and Christmas party at the Kremlin.

“It is a pity that President Barack Obama’s administration ends its work in this way but nevertheless, I wish him and his family a Happy New Year,”Putin said.

His statement, issued by the Kremlin, ended with a congratulations to Donald Trump on his election victory and wishes of “welfare and prosperity” to the American people.