The US has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged
interference into last month’s presidential elections, giving them 72
hours to leave the country.
It will also close two compounds used for Russian intelligence-gathering.
President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid US
accusations it directed hacks againPrst the Democratic Party and Hillary
The US state department declared the 35 Russian diplomats from the
Washington DC embassy and the consulate in San Francisco “persona non
grata”, and gave them and their families 72 hours to leave the US.
The move follows calls from senior US senators to sanction Russian
officials who are believed to have played a role in the hacking, which
some lawmakers referred to as America’s “political Pearl Harbor”.
Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who led the calls
for sanctions, said they “intend to lead the effort in the new Congress
to impose stronger sanctions on Russia”.
A Kremlin spokesman told journalists in Moscow that President Vladimir Putin would consider retaliatory measures.
Dmitry Peskov said the actions were “a manifestation of unpredictable
and aggressive foreign policy”, and called them “ungrounded and not
And the Russian embassy in the UK tweeted a visual gag calling the Obama presidency a lame duck.