President Putin says Trump is not his ‘bride’, slams ‘uncivilised’ US politicians
Tuesday - 05/09/2017 11:42
MOKE poured from Russia’s consulate before armed agents moved in. Now Putin has threatened retaliation and said he’s not Trump’s ‘bride’.
RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin said he is not the “bride” of President Trump and slammed the US political establishment as “uncivilised” amid a simmering diplomatic feud between the two countries.
Speaking for the first time about the recent US decision to expel Russian workers from a consulate in San Francisco with just two days’ notice, Putin slammed the “uncivil” way US authorities acted.
“The Americans had the right to reduce the number of our diplomatic offices. It is another matter altogether that they have done this in way that was absolutely uncivil. This does not do reflect well on our American partners,” he said.
“It is difficult to talk to people who confuse Austria and Australia. But there is nothing we can do about this; this is the level of political culture among part of the American establishment.”
“As for the American people, America is truly a great nation if the Americans can put up with so many politically uncivilised people.”
He later refrained from criticising the US President directly in comments posted by Russian news agencies, saying Trump was “not my bride, and I’m not his groom”.
Putin also refused to discuss the prospect of Trump being impeached, saying it would be “absolutely wrong” to discuss US domestic politics.
The comments follow a diplomatic stoush that saw the US shutter Russia’s San Francisco consulate and search the premises over the weekend — giving staff and their families just two days to get out.
The move was made in retaliation for Moscow’s expulsion of US diplomats earlier in the year, where it had reduced the number of US diplomats in the country to 455 — the same number Russia has in the US.
While Putin recognised an agreement for “parity” in terms of staffing levels between the two countries, he also cited a technicality that means Russia will “reserve the right” to cut US staff further given that 155 of its US-based staff work at the UN.
“When the United States wanted the UN to be headquartered in New York, it pledged to properly ensure its operation. So strictly speaking, the number of American diplomats in Moscow should be not 455 but 155 fewer, if we are talking about parity,” he said.
“So, we reserve the right to take a new decision on the number of American diplomats in Moscow. We will not do this immediately but will see how things develop.”
On Sunday the US seized control of three diplomatic posts — in San Francisco, Washington DC and New York City, forcing out Russian workers.
Furious Russian staff filmed their premises being searched and called it a “blatantly hostile act” with armed police taking control of the buildings.
The Russian Foreign Ministry posted video on Facebook and threatened the US would “bear the total blame for the ongoing degradation of the relations between our countries, on which the current condition of the global stability and international security largely depends.”
Videos showed men with American accents checking various rooms and giving them the all-clear. One man searched a ceiling cavity for unknown contents. President Putin said the Foreign Ministry will take legal action.