December 30, 2016 / 10:32 AM / a year ago

Russia to eject U.S. diplomats in response to sanctions: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Friday announced plans to expel 35 U.S. diplomats and ban U.S. diplomatic staff from using a dacha and a warehouse in Moscow in retaliation to Washington’s sanctions, Russian news agencies reported.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 29, 2016. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin/via REUTERS

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted by the agencies as saying he had proposed the measures to President Vladimir Putin.

President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election.

Lavrov said Russia would not leave the sanctions unanswered and said that allegations that Russia interfered in U.S. elections were baseless.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Peter Hobson

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