'We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy': Russia responds to Donald Trump

Trump (above) used the social media platform to warn Russia of imminent military action in Syria.
Trump (above) used the social media platform to warn Russia of imminent military action in Syria.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (WASHINGTON POST) - In the wake of President Donald Trump's tweet taunting Russia while promising a missile attack on Moscow's ally Syria, Russian politicians and officials are jumping at a chance to show they are the more mature and serious party.

Here's how Russian officials from the president on down have responded to Trump.

President Vladimir Putin did not address the tweets directly while greeting new foreign ambassadors to Moscow at the Kremlin. But he reiterated his frequent call for global stability - which can only be accomplished, in the Kremlin's view, by giving Russia a prominent role in a "multipolar" rather than US-led world order.

"Indeed, the state of things in the world cannot but provoke concern. The situation in the world is increasingly chaotic. Nevertheless, we hope that common sense will prevail in the end and that international relations will become more constructive - that the whole global system will become more stable and predictable."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the tweets in comments to Russian journalists. While he dismissed Trump's Twitter diplomacy, he left unmentioned that Russia's own diplomats in London are no stranger to it.

"We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy. We support serious approaches. We continue to believe that it's important not to take steps that can harm an already fragile situation."

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova quickly took to Facebook, wondering whether an American strike would only be a pretext for erasing all evidence of a chemical-weapons attack that Russia has described as staged.

"Smart missiles should fly in the direction of terrorists and not a legal government that has been fighting for several years against international terrorism on its territory... Or is the whole idea to quickly wipe away the traces of a provocation by striking them with smart missiles, so that international inspectors would have nothing left to find in terms of evidence?"

Ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky ridiculed Trump in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, describing the president as stuck on Twitter because his hands were otherwise tied by US lawmakers.

 

"Look at the Americans: Trump won't succeed at anything, he won't succeed. Either Congress or the Senate won't allow it. He's suffering, and he's glued to Twitter... He's the least capable president in the world. It's a shame. America today is the greatest shame of all mankind."

Lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, reiterated Russia's insistence that the suspected chemical attack was fake.

"US President Donald Trump's vigorous message in which he proposed Russia get ready for 'smart, nice and new missiles' is horrifying in its demonstrative frivolousness. It is truly scary when you realise in whose hands the largest ever military arsenal on the planet is. And the readiness to use it based on fake pretext is a reason for a serious conversation at the UN Security Council and in all other international forums."