What are consequences of West's 'childish games'?
Commenting on the expulsion of Russian diplomats over the Skripal case, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow does not want to play childish games with Western countries.
“We don’t want to follow suit by playing such childish games, but right now our partners are engaging specifically in this,” the top Russian diplomat said.
"It does not depend on us how far we could go. The diplomacy exploits the principle of reciprocity and it is still in force. This principle will be exploited coherently," TASS cited Lavrov as saying.
"Now our Western partners, I mean primarily the United Kingdom, the United States and several countries that have blindly followed them, have run out of niceties, resorting to open lies, to outright misinformation. We will respond to this fairly calmly, coolly, and insist that any accusations, any allegations must be justified by facts," he added.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the expression "childish games" aptly describes the Western countries' current actions. "It's important that it wasn't us who started these "childish games". It was started by the US, then the UK joined it, as a result, the "game" has reached a peak. Some Western countries even say now that they cannot consider the response measures to be mirror images - but we did not start this exchange of expulsions, and there are no rules in this this "childish game". Russia has always preserved its dignity, defending its national interests, and the West's expectation that we will somehow adapt are unfounded," he stressed.
Vladimir Olenchenko drew attention to the fact that the reduction of diplomatic missions within the framework of the West's "childish games" has an extremely negative impact on ordinary citizens of both countries in the first place. "The staff of the diplomatic missions work to make daily contact with the citizens of their countries abroad and interact with diplomats of the host country. And against this background there are statements from the West on the interest in developing bilateral relations with Russia, which, of course, is a typical hypocrisy," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
The head of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Academy of Sciences of Russia, Sergei Oznobishchev, noted that the number of Russian diplomatic representatives in the US may be restored in the future. "The exchange of deportations of diplomatic representatives may go too far, because the flow of diplomats is high. However, diplomats tend to recover quickly. There was the US official statement that all the shortened diplomatic positions can be filled again, which is quite normal practice," he said.
"Why did the West agree with the UK's completely unproven claims about our involvement in the Skripal case? Because of Russia's vivid negative image. The accusations are unsubstantiated, but they create a persistent suspicion that Russia is involved. But I am sure that official Russia is not involved in the Skripal case, and it was made by those who are not interested in normalizing our relations with the UK, and perhaps with the West as a whole. We are interested in an objective investigation, but we are not allowed to investigate this, because, in my opinion, we did not completely finish the previous episodes that are connected with the accusations of Russia," Sergei Oznobishchev pointed out.