Barack Obama

Russia Vows Response to Sanctions, Mocks Obama as Lame Duck


In a replay of the Cold War, Russia fired back hot words on Thursday after President Barack Obama ordered 35 Russian intelligence operatives booted from the U.S. and slapped sanctions on several top Russian intelligence officials and agencies.

Obama’s action came in response to hacking of the Democratic National Committee, for which Russia has been blamed. An FBI-Department of Homeland Security report released Thursday said Russian hackers twice made their way into a political party’s files.

Some Russian responses came via social media.

Some came in old-fashioned threats.

A Kremlin spokesman said President Vladimir Putin would determine how Russia responds and said, the “principle of reciprocity applies here,” according to the Interfax news agency.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had warned, even before the sanctions were announced that a response would be forthcoming.

“People in the White House should understand that if Washington will really take new hostile steps, then they will receive a response,” she said.

“Perhaps the Obama administration is already indifferent about what will happen with bilateral relations, but history is unlikely to forgive its behavior according to the principle ‘after us the deluge,’” Zakharova said.

The fact that the action came as Obama was leaving office was a major thread in the Russian reaction.

Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the foreign affairs committee in one house of the Russian Parliament, told Interfax that “this is the agony not even of ‘lame ducks,’ but of ‘political corpses.’”

Obama’s stance against Russia runs contrary to that of President-elect Donald Trump. The Obama factor in the decision was stressed by Dmitri S. Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

“We regret that this decision was made by the U.S. administration and President Obama personally,” he said. “As we have said before, we believe such decisions and such sanctions are ungrounded and illegal from the point of view of international law.”


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