While it has been widely reported in the media that Russia is planning to close their Anglo-American School of Moscow in retaliation for President Barack Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that CNN reports are false.
CNN had reported on Thursday that authorities in Russia had ordered the Anglo-American School of Moscow to close, according to a US official. This school works with the children of American, British, and Canadian embassy personnel. However, the BBC cites Maria Zakharova as saying that this claim is a “lie,” and the Anglo-American School will not be closing.
The Russian news agency Tass has also explained that the diplomatic row between the United States and Russia has in no way impacted the children of diplomatic officials, as Zakharova states.
“US officials ‘anonymously informed’ their media that Russia closed the Anglo-American School in Moscow as a retaliatory measure. That’s a lie. Apparently, the White House has completely lost its senses and began inventing sanctions against its own children.”
When discussing CNN‘s report, along with that of other US news agencies, Zakharova had strong words.
“You should not write that ‘Moscow denied, or Moscow will not. Write as it is: ‘The CNN TV channel and other Western media have again spread false information citing official American sources.'”
InfoWars has reported that the official statement from Russia, as cited by Reuters, had actually been that Russia’s Foreign Ministry had given President Putin a proposal that certain embassy personnel should be declared as persona non grata, not that the Anglo-American School of Moscow should close.
“Russia’s Foreign Ministry and their colleagues from other agencies have proposed that President Vladimir Putin proclaim 31 employees of the US Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US Consulate service in St. Petersburg as persons ‘non-grata.”
The BBC has said that President Putin rejected the advice given to him by his foreign ministry, however, and said that he would not become involved in the same kind of “irresponsible diplomacy” that saw the US expel 35 of their Russian diplomats, according to the Kremlin’s official website, and the Anglo-American School of Moscow would not be shut.
“We won’t be expelling anyone. We won’t be banning their families and children from the places where they usually spend the New Year holidays. Furthermore, I invite all children of American diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas Tree in the Kremlin.”
— ГК РФ???????? в Женеве (@RusConsulGen) December 30, 2016
President Putin also wished Barack Obama and the American people a happy New Year and said that he hoped after Donald Trump’s inauguration that Russia and the United States could both work together in a constructive and pragmatic manner. He described how there are numerous global challenges to be dealt with that could only be resolved with good relations between Russia and the United States in order to keep stability and security in the world, as Sputnik News reports.
After the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats by President Obama, the Russian military affairs analyst Pavel Felgenhauer has told the BBC that people could expect things to get very nasty from now on. The Russian media is reporting that those who are facing expulsion from the United States have been having difficulty in finding plane tickets so close to the New Year with most flights already booked. But while the United States and Russia are having difficulties at the moment and diplomacy has been strained, we now know that the Anglo-American School of Moscow will not be closing in the foreseeable future.
[Featured Image by Alexei Druzhinin/AP Images]