WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin tossed President-elect Donald Trump a bouquet in December when he chose not to retaliate for the U.S. expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds.
The honeymoon is over.
Russia’s tit-for-tat decision to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats and seize two U.S. compounds may be an acknowledgment in Moscow that Trump’s ability to bring better ties is limited, at best, and the start of a new downward spiral in relations.
Russia took the step after the U.S. Senate on Thursday sent a breath-taking signal that it does not trust Trump on Russia by passing a bill that imposes new sanctions on Moscow and ties the president’s hands if he seeks to ease them.
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