Vladimir Putin ‘will not expel US diplomats’ after Barack Obama orders sanctions over election hacking

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According to telegraph.co.uk Russia will not expel US diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to the White House’s decision to send home Russian officials suspected of spying, Vladimir Putin has said.

The Russian president said President Barack Obama’s decision to expel 35 suspected Russian spies in retaliation for hacking and interference in the US presidential election was a “provocation” designed to deal long term damage to relations between the two countries.

“The new unfriendly measures by the US administration are regarded as provocative, designed to further undermine relations,” Mr Putin said in a statement on the Kremlin website.

Earlier Sergei Lavrov, the  foreign minister, publically recommend that Russia expel 35 US diplomats and close down two  US diplomatic compounds.

“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 Saint Petersburg,” Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said in televised comments.

The move would have amount to a tit-for-tat response to American sanctions.

President Barack Obama’s said on Friday the US would expel 35 Russian diplomats and close down two diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland in retaliation for Moscow directing hackers to interfere in the presidential elections.

The announcement provoked fury in Moscow, where many officials attacked Mr Obama personally for the move.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, wrote on Twitter that the current administration was “ending its term in anti-Russian agony.

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