Oh, Russia. President Vladimir Putin remains the biggest troll in the world. Of course the Kremlin promised retaliation against America after President Barack Obama slammed them with new sanctions for allegedly trying to interfere with our presidential election. The sanctions included expelling 35 diplomats and their families and closing down two Russian compounds.

Putin claimed he would do the same, but backed off and decided to take a road to help renew American-Russian relations.

(Yeah right!)

Instead of expelling the diplomats, Putin “invited the children of U.S. envoys to a New Year celebration for kids held at a concert hall on the grounds of the Kremlin.” He 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.

It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

Some reports stated that the Kremlin wanted to close the Anglo-American School in Moscow for those children, but the foreign ministry denied they had any plans to do such a thing. Putin continued:

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.

LOL. The whole world knows too many people fear a cozy relationship between Putin and President-elect Donald Trump. Putin also knows that many people also think he wanted Trump as president and did everything in his power to get Trump elected. Boy, is Putin trolling those people HARD:

“Putin is looking beyond Obama, and has sought to counter Obama’s sanctions in a way that would not hurt chances of better relations under Trump,” said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “Both Obama and Putin are trying to shape future U.S.-Russia relations: each in his own way. Trump finds himself in an interesting situation. He is being tested simultaneously both by his predecessor and a foreign leader. The result will be telling.”

Because this is totally the mature thing to do right before we start a new administration.

Either way, I find it incredibly interesting since Putin does not have a nice bone in his body. But we all know that Putin craves the limelight and will do anything to stay in it. What a better way than to troll America? Anyone with a brain cell knows Putin’s heart has not changed.

We also know that Putin loves to appear as a strong man. These actions make Obama and America look weak. He has effectively brushed off these sanctions as no big deal and laugh in the face of the outgoing administration. In other words, Obama is not worth his time.

Plus, there is a long history of Russian harassment towards our envoys in Russia:

The Kremlin’s effort also contrasts sharply with Russia’s previous treatment of U.S. diplomats in Russia. The State Department earlier this year expelled two Russian officials, citing Russian mistreatment of U.S. diplomats.

U.S. diplomats have long complained of harassment and intrusive surveillance in Russia. Earlier this year, Russian national television broadcast footage appearing to show a Russian police officer tackling a U.S. official outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; the Russian foreign ministry claimed he was a spy.

Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, was a frequent target of state television camera crews who stalked the diplomat and cast him in an unflattering light.

(h/t to Michelle Ray for the title)