Russia's Putin decides against expelling US diplomats in response to sanctions

By REUTERS
December 30, 2016 15:10

 
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MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin ruled out on Friday expelling anyone in retaliation for Washington's decision to throw out 35 Russian diplomats and impose sanctions on two of the country's intelligence agencies.

RIA news agency quoted Putin as saying he would consider the actions of President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office next month, when deciding on further steps in Russia-US relations.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed to Putin that Moscow expel 35 US diplomats and ban US diplomatic staff from using two facilities in Moscow, his ministry said.

This followed President Barack Obama's decision to expel the 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying and to impose sanctions on the two Russian intelligence agencies over their alleged involvement in hacking US political groups in the 2016 presidential election. Lavrov said the allegations that Russia interfered in US elections were baseless.

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