“Expel US Diplomats Over Hacking Spat” – Lavrov To Putin

Russia on Friday announced plans to expel 35 US diplomats and ban US diplomatic staff from using a dacha, or country house, and a warehouse in Moscow in retaliation to Washington’s sanctions, Russian news agencies reported.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly proposed the measures to President Vladimir Putin.

“Russia’s foreign ministry … has requested that the Russian president approve declaring as personae non gratae 31 employees of the US embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US consulate in St Petersburg,” Lavrov said in televised comments.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their suspected involvement in hacking US political groups in the 2016 presidential election.

Lavrov has said that Russia would not leave the sanctions unanswered and said that allegations that Russia interfered in US elections were baseless.

Ealier, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, said the outgoing Obama administration was ending its term in “anti-Russia agony”.

“It is regrettable that the Obama administration, which started out by restoring our ties, is ending its term in an anti-Russia agony. RIP,” Medvedev tweeted.

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