It may be noted the Obama administration imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions over alleged Russian hacking during the recent US presidential polls.
Under this, the US authorities declared 35 Russian diplomats from the Washington embassy and its consulate in San Francisco persona non-grata and gave them 72 hours to leave the US.
This apart, sanctions were also announced against nine entities and individuals, including two Russian spy agencies, the GRU and the FSB.
Making it clear that it will hit back, Moscow promised an appropriate counter-measures to the US sanctions. Reacting to the US action, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov hinted Russia might wait until Trump, who has played down the hacking claims, took over as the US President.
While this was so, the Russians facing expulsion from the Washington embassy are struggling to buy plane tickets because flights are full ahead of the New Year holiday. The diplomats and their families will travel to New York, where their chances of finding plane seats are better, said sources.
When asked about the possibility of sanctions, Trump dismissed the claims as “ridiculous” and said Americans should get on with their lives.