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‘We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy’: Russia responds to Trump

Moscow bureau chief Anton Troianovski describes Russia’s tensions with the U.S. and how state media are covering the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. (Video: Sarah Parnass, Anton Troianovski/The Washington Post)

In the wake of President Trump’s tweet taunting Russiawhile 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 U.S.-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 Londonare no stranger to it.

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 U.S. 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.

“U.S. 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 realize 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 U.N. Security Council and in all other international forums.”