Vladimir Putin Will Not Retaliate with Expulsions
Vladimir Putin condemned new U.S. sanctions against Russia. However, he has rejected his own foreign minister’s proposal to retaliate by expelling American diplomats. President Putin said the White House measures are a “provocation aimed to further undermine Russian-American relations.” This is partly as a result of the fallout from alleged cyber-attacks and interference in the U.S. election process.
Vladmir Putin was urged by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to seek the expulsion of U.S. diplomats as well as shutting down a country retreat and a warehouse used by Americans in Moscow. However, President Putin made it clear that he will not seek any expulsions of U.S. diplomats.
This follows President Barack Obama’s orders, on Thursday, to expel 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two suspected hackers and three companies that allegedly provided support to cyber operations by the country’s GRU intelligence service. U.S. intelligences agencies have previously blamed Russia for being involved in cyber-attacks on Democratic party institutions in the run-up-to the November 8 election.
The CIA has concluded that the interference was to help Donald trump win the presidency. NBC News reported that intelligence officials believe “with a high level of confidence” that Putin was personally involved in the covert campaign.