(Reuters) Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctioned Russian intelligence officials who Washington believes were involved in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election.
The measures, taken during the last days of Obama’s presidency, mark a new low in U.S.-Russian relations which have deteriorated over serious differences on Ukraine and Syria.
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“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 U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” Obama said in a statement from vacation in Hawaii.
It was not immediately clear whether President-elect Donald Trump, who has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and nominated people seen as friendly toward Moscow to senior administration posts, would seek to roll back the measures once he takes office on Jan. 20.