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Dec 29, 2016 | 20:04 GMT

U.S.: 35 Russian Diplomats Expelled, New Sanctions Announced

The United States expelled 35 Russian diplomats Dec. 29 in retaliation for alleged interference with the recent U.S. presidential election, BBC reported. It will also close two Russian compounds used for intelligence gathering, in Maryland and New York, as part of a raft of other measures. President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid U.S. accusations that the Kremlin directed hacks against the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Russia has denied any involvement. The U.S. State Department has given the Russian diplomats and their families 72 hours to leave the country. The Russian government is expected to respond in turn by expelling U.S. diplomats. Sanctions were also announced against nine entities and individuals including the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and Federal Security Service (FSB). It is unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump would be able to immediately overturn the measures upon taking office in January. His policy on Russia is likely to diverge from that of the Obama administration. Just as Trump regards the one-China policy as a relic of the Cold War worth revisiting, he intends to update Washington's relationship with Moscow.

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