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Published: Sat, December 31, 2016
World | By Tasha Manning

Punishment coming for Russia over U.S. election interference

Punishment coming for Russia over U.S. election interference

The United States says it is expelling almost three dozen Russian diplomats as it announced new economic sanctions and other punitive measures in response to alleged Russian hacking during the presidential election. "Reciprocity is a law of diplomacy and global affairs, therefore the Russian Foreign Ministry, together with our colleagues from other agencies, proposed to the president of the Russian Federation to declare 31 staff members of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg persona non grata". "We reject such unfounded allegations and accusations against Russian Federation".

Zakharova added: "Frankly, we are exhausted about the lies about Russian hackers - it's misinformation by Obama administration aimed at providing an excuse for its own failure".

Mr Obama is seeking to deter Russian Federation and other foreign governments from leveraging cyber attacks in the future to meddle in U.S. politics, former officials and cyber security experts said.

The U.S. sanctions target nine entities and individuals, including Russia's main intelligence directorate, the GRU, and its Federal Security Service, the FSB.

Although the White House announced at the same time it was kicking out Russian officials and closing facilities, it said those were responses to other troubling Russian behavior: harassment of U.S. diplomats by Russian personnel and police.

And the U.S. will close two compounds - in NY and Maryland - used by Russian intelligence services.

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Putin announced Friday he "won't create problems for American diplomats" in retaliation while he waits for the new administration to take office, adding he would "plan further steps for restoring the Russian-American relationship based in the policies enacted by the administration of President Donald Trump".

The president-elect made the comments while standing alongside boxing promoter Don King, who was waving a fist full of flags next to Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The measures - taken during the last days of Mr Obama's presidency - mark a new low in US-Russian relations, which have deteriorated over serious differences on Ukraine and Syria.

"All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions", Obama said.

The US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on two of its intelligence services. The officials and their families were given 72 hours to leave the U.S. Russian Federation has accused Washington of similar harassment toward its diplomats. "It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner".

Russian officials have maintained that their government had nothing to do with hacks, and have denied the Obama administration's accusation that the Russian government was trying to influence the USA presidential election. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly.

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