In France, even Le Fig gets it: “Putin makes a mockery of Obama’s sanctions”

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December 31, 2016 – Fort Russ News –

– Le Figaro, translated by Tom Winter –

What a slap for Obama! It is a maneuver that is both clever, noble and powerful. A Christmas miracle! No one had so humiliated Obama.

Putin mocks Obama’s sanctions

The Russian president has refused to apply the usual reciprocity and to expel American diplomats in return. On the contrary, he invited their children to the Noël in the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin, a fan of “asymmetrical” answers, on Friday rejected his Foreign Minister’s proposal to apply the usual reciprocity for the expulsion of diplomats. Mingling the serious with the derisive, the Russian president described the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats as “another unfriendly gesture of the outgoing American administration” and a “provocation to further destabilize Russian-American relations.”

Further on, he adds, contemptuously refusing to “go down to the level of kitchens”, he would prefer “to orient (his) policy on that of the future Administration of Donald Trump.” Any eventual retaliatory measures are postponed. Vladimir Putin chooses to remain in the living room of the Kremlin, where, magnanimous, he invites “all the children of the American diplomats accredited in Russia around the Christmas tree.”

Not wanting to pass for the Moscow ogre, Vladimir Putin leaves it to his lieutenants to answer “at the level of the kitchens.” As of Thursday evening, the official account of the Russian embassy in London used a very undiplomatic tone in a tweet graphically depicting Obama as a “lame duck”: 

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“Everyone, including the American people, is delighted to see in this the last act of that hapless Administration.”

“Anti-Russian Agony”

Usually one of the most moderate of his administration, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the new sanctions as “anti-Russian agony” on his Twitter account. “It is sad to see that the Obama Administration, which started its existence by restoring co-operation, ends it in an anti-Russian agony. RIP (rest in peace).” 

In a frankly venomous tone, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused American officials of having spread a hoax in which Moscow wanted to close the Anglo-American school in Moscow by retaliation. “It’s a lie,” she writes on her Facebook page. The White House has lost its head and has started imagining sanctions against their own children.”
The latter seem to play a central role in Russian-American relations since Moscow banned American parents from adopting Russian orphans in 2012. It was the point of a virulent anti-American campaign in the official Russian media.

“An adroit maneuver, noble and powerful”

The election of Donald Trump changed the situation. The criticism is about Barack Obama and his team, but everything is done to welcome his successor smoothly. The spokesman of the Kremlin denounced to the Tass agency an American domestic intrigue in which Barack Obama is trying to “force the future Administration and the elected president to adopt a model of behavior” and “deprive him of any decision-making capacity.”

But things will not stop there, predicts political scientist Gleb Pavlovsky: “Before February, Obama will even unscrew the lightbulbs at the White House and put a dead rat under the Trump bathtub.” These scandals would not be displeasing to the Kremlin, according to another political scientist, Mikhail Vinogradov: “2016 was a very successful year for Russian diplomacy. The main objective has been achieved: to spike the agenda of the Americans.”

“Putin confirms that he is a capable politician, perhaps the most capable in the world,” Sergei Markov enthuses dithyrambically. For this international relations expert who faithfully espouses the official line, the presidential decision not to expel American diplomats and not to take away their dacha but instead to invite their children to the Kremlin “will make headlines in the international media. What a slap for Obama! It is a maneuver that is both clever, noble and powerful. A Christmas miracle! No one had so humiliated Obama. To respond to evil by goodness is the Christian spirit, the spirit of Christmas.” 

US diplomats can be sure that their children will receive the utmost attention from Russian television channels if they accept the invitation of Vladimir Putin.

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