Kremlin Disagrees With US Claims That Russia is Waging ' Diplomatic War '
“Russia has not unleashed any diplomatic wars, President Vladimir Putin from the very beginning was and remains a supporter of establishing good relations with all countries, including the United States. Russia has never been the initiator of sanctions or expulsion of diplomats,” Peskov told reporters.
He stressed that “Russia remains open formending ties,” adding that the country “wants friendly relationship.”
Answering the question why Russia has not announced any response measures yet against other countries having expelled Russian diplomats, the spokesman metaphorically said that “night brings counsel,” well-known Russian proverb which means that it is neccessary to think over a decision before making it.
Moscow’s reaction comes after the US State Department noted that there was “no justification” for Russia’s response, referring to the announcement of expulsion of 60 US diplomats and closure of the General Consulate in Saint Petersburg. However, Moscow’s measures are a reciprocal response to Washington’s previous order to remove 60 Russian diplomats from the country, whom the US branded “spies.”
The US actions followed London’s move to expel 23 Russian diplomats as UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of orchestrating the attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury. Apart from the US, more than 25 other countries, including some EU states, Canada and Australia, followed London’s lead and expelled over 150 Russian diplomats in connection with the Salisbury incident so far.
Russia has strongly rejected the accusations and offered assistance in the investigation. However, Moscow’s request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal has been rejected.