US expels 35 Russian diplomats over election hacking

The Unites States has expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment against American diplomats in Moscow.

US expels 35 Russian diplomats over election hacking

The Unites States has expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment against American diplomats in Moscow, a senior US official said on Thursday.

President Barack Obama on Thursday sanctioned Russian intelligence services and their top officials. In addition to the sanctions, 35 Russian have been expelled from the country and listed as “persona non grata.”


“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Obama said in a statement. “These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government. Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences.”

President-elect Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called for better relations with Moscow, has been largely dismissive of claims that Russian intelligence was responsible for the hacks. He said it was ‘‘time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.’’

As part of the announcement, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI issued a joint report detailing malicious cyber operations in Russia. Some of the information in the report will be newly declassified, according to the White House.

Responding to Obama administration's steps, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters, "such steps of the US administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, deal a blow on the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect."