Putin says Russia won't oust U.S. diplomats in hacking flap
WASHINGTON - President Vladimir Putin has condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia but said Moscow will not retaliate by expelling American diplomats.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday imposed sanctions on Russian officials and intelligence services in retaliation for Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts. 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the U.S. in 72 hours and two facilities closed.
Putin, in a statement the Kremlin's web-site on Friday, referred the new sanctions as a "provocation aimed to further undermine Russian-American relations."
But he said Russia would not be expelling American diplomats in retaliation like the Russian foreign ministry earlier suggested.