Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin calls the decision to close Russian compounds in the U.S. ''scandalous''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters at the United Nations on Friday (December 30) that "it's quite scandalous that they chose to go after our kids," after Russian compounds in Upper Brookville on Long Island in New York and one in Centreville, Maryland were ordered closed as part of a White House response, including the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies, to what U.S. officials have called cyber interference by Moscow in this year's U.S. presidential election campaign. The Kremlin has denied the hacking allegations. "They know full well that those two facilities, which they mentioned in their notes, they are vacation facilities for our kids," said Churkin. "And this is Christmastime. This is vacation time for our schools from the 1st of January to the 10th of January. This is the time when the kids go to those two facilities. So to block our access to them just while the holidays were starting, to me was rather cynical. So here go their family values." President Barack Obama also abruptly orderedthe Maryland compound closed on Thursday, saying it had been "used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes." The Russians have until noon ET (1700 GMT) on Friday to vacate the premises. The measures, taken during the last days of Obama's presidency, mark a new low in U.S.-Russian relations which have deteriorated over serious differences on Ukraine and Syria. It was not immediately clear whether President-elect Donald Trump, who has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and nominated people seen as friendly toward Moscow to senior administration posts, would seek to roll back the measures once he takes office on Jan. 20. Obama is seeking to deter Russia and other foreign governments from leveraging cyber attacks in the future to meddle in U.S. politics, former officials and cyber security experts said. Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin calls the decision to close Russian compounds in the U.S. "scandalous". Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Russia's U.N. ambassador calls compound closing 'scandalous'