U.S. expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds: WhiteHouse

US President Barack Obama has authorised a series of sanctions against Russia for intervening in the 2016 US presidential election and warned of more action to come. The United States has expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment by Russia against American diplomats in Russia.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the Russian diplomats would be given 72 hours to leave the United States.

The United States on Thursday expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment by Russia against American diplomats in Moscow.

The State Department confirmed the news.

Access to the two compounds will be denied to all Russian officials as of noon tomorrow, the official added.

"These actions were taken to respond to Russian harassment of American diplomats and actions by the diplomats that we have assessed to be not consistent with diplomatic practice," the official told Reuters.

 In a statement, Mr Obama said "These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behaviour."

"These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia's aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicised," he said.

Mr Obama said a report by his administration about Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election would be delivered to Congress in the coming days.

 

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