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Vladimir Putin has invited the children of American diplomats in Russia to New Year and Christmas parties in the Kremlin - despite the US expelling 35 Russian diplomats.
Axar.az reports that, the US had vowed new sanctions and closed two Russian compounds, in New York and Maryland, citing a 'campaign of harassment by Russia'.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security directly accused Russian spies of hacking during the US election.
Despite the action taken by President Obama, Putin says he will not ban American diplomats from Russia.
In a statement released by Vladimir Putin, he instead invites the children of US diplomats in Russia to parties at the Kremlin.
Putin said: "The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends."We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays.
"Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin."
The Russian President accused Obama of being "provocative" and said the measures taken by the US were "aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship".
He added: "As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration."
He also said he wishes to "offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family" before adding "My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.
"I wish all of you happiness and prosperity."
2016.12.30 / 22:57