US expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes 2 compounds

Thirty-five Russian diplomats have been expelled from the US, according to a statement from State Department. President Barack Obama described those expelled as “intelligence operatives,” also announcing the closure of two Russian compounds, in New York and Maryland, RT reports.

The Russian diplomats would be given 72 hours to leave US soil. They are expelled for acting in a "manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status," the statement reads.

The Russian staff will also be denied access to the New York and Maryland compound as of noon on Friday, the source added.

This is part of the measures introduced “in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of US officials and cyber operations aimed at the US election,” Obama said in his statement, calling the measures “a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.”

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” the president stressed, again blaming Moscow for orchestrating hacking attacks.

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