Vladimir Putin: Trump administration behaved in 'boorish manner'

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Vladimir Putin: Trump administration behaved in
Published 5-09-2017, 07:07

Melissa Quinn

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Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. on Tuesday after Washington ordered Russia to close three of its U.S. facilities, saying the Trump administration behaved in a "boorish manner" and confuses countries such as Australia and Austria.

"That the Americans reduced the number of our diplomatic facilities, that is their right," Putin said Tuesday during a news conference in Xiamen, China, according to Reuters. "The only thing is that it was done in such a clearly boorish manner. That does not reflect well on our American partners. But it's difficult to conduct a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia. Nothing can be done about it. Probably such is the level of political culture of a certain part of the U.S. establishment."

Putin also said he would ask Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take legal action against the U.S. in response to the State Department's order.

"As for our buildings and facilities, this is an unprecedented thing," Putin said. "This is a clear violation of Russia's property rights. Therefore, for a start, I will order the Foreign Ministry to go to court, and let's see just how efficient the much-praised U.S. judiciary is."

The State Department last week ordered Russia to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City.

The Kremlin had until Sept. 2 to shutter the facilities.

The State Department's announcement has been part of a broader back-and-forth that began last year, when the U.S., under former President Barack Obama, seized two Russian compounds and expelled 35 Russian diplomats as retaliation for Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Congress then overwhelmingly passed legislation increasing sanctions on Russia, which President Trump signed.

In response to the sanctions package, Russia ordered the State Department to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in the country by 755 employees, leaving the U.S. with 455 employees in Russia.

The State Department said last week it had complied with Russia's order, but Putin didn't rule out further cuts to U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia.

"We reserve the right to take a decision on the number of U.S. diplomats in Moscow," Putin said. "But we don't do that for now. Let's wait and see how the situation develops further."

 

washingtonexaminer.com

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