Putin says Russia will not expel US diplomats

President Vladimir Putin has condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia but says 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 on the Kremlin’s website Friday, refers to the new sanctions as a “provocation aimed to further undermine Russian-American relations.”

But he says Russia would not be expelling American diplomats in retaliation, as the Russian foreign ministry earlier suggested.

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