U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats including shutting down of two Russian compounds in the U.S. in a number of actions announced on Thursday as reprisal for Russia’s meddling in US election.
Obama’s speech obtained by correspondent of the newsmen in New York, stated that the actions were “in response to Russia’s malicious cyber activity and harassment.
“Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at U.S. election.
“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behaviour.
“The U.S State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring ‘persona non grata’ on 35 Russian intelligence operatives.
“Finally, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are releasing declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity.
“This is to help network defenders in the U.S. and abroad to identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities.”
According to Obama, all Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.
Obama added that “in October, my Administration publicised our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.
“These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government.
“Moreover, our diplomats have experienced unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences.”
He futher explained that he had issued an executive order that provided additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity aimed at interfering with or undermining America’s election processes and institutions, or those of its allies or partners.
“Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations.
“In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury is designating two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information.”
The U.S. president explained that “these actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities.
“We will continue to take actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicised.
“In addition to holding Russia accountable for what it has done, the United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behaviour, and interfere with democratic governance.
“To that end, my Administration will be providing a report to Congress in the coming days about Russia’s efforts to interfere in our election, as well as malicious cyber activity related to our election cycle in previous elections.”
In a response to President Barack Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats for ‘malicious’ meddling in US election via cyber hacking. Russia’s President Puttin has declared 35 American diplomats persona non grata,
The TASS news agency said the American diplomats expelled include 31 personnel of the embassy in Moscow and four of the consulate general in St. Petersburg.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, made the declaration today Friday 30th, TASS reported.
“We, of course, cannot leave unanswered the insults of the kind, reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and foreign relations,” Lavrov said.
“Thus, the Russian Foreign Ministry and officials of other authorities have presented to the Russian president suggestions regarding announcing persona non grata 31 personnel of the US Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the Consulate General in St. Petersburg.”
Washington’s accusations that the Russian state was behind attempts to meddle in the US presidential election are groundless, Lavrov said.
“The outgoing US administration of Barack Obama accusing Russia of all mortal sins, trying to blame us for the failure of its foreign policy initiatives, among other things, has put forward additional accusations without any grounds whatsoever that the Russian state was behind attempts to meddle in the US election campaign, which led to the defeat of the democratic candidate,” Lavrov said.