Friday, December 30, 2016

Russia moves to expel 35 US diplomats in tit-for-tat response

Russia will to expel 35 US diplomats in a tit-for-tat response for the expulsion of 35 of its diplomats from Washington, amid a bitter dispute over alleged Russian interference in the recent US presidential election.

"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," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday in televised comments.

The move comes only hours after a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin's reaction to the expulsion of its diplomats would cause the US "significant discomfort".

However, he also hinted that Russia may wait until Donald Trump, who has played down the hacking claims, becomes president.

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