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Plane Set to Carry Home Expelled Russian Diplomats Departs From US - Embassy

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Rossiya Airlines aircraft - Sputnik International
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The special plane, which was sent by Moscow to carry back home Russian diplomats expelled from the United States, left Washington on Sunday, the Russian Embassy's press service said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Saturday, Russian Embassy spokesman Nikolai Lahonin said that the special plane, which is set to carry back home the Russian diplomats expelled from the United States by President Barack Obama's decision earlier this week, landed near Washington.

"The plane took off, everyone left," the press service told RIA Novosti.

The Russian Federation flag flies above the Russian embassy in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International
US Expels Russian Diplomats Who Arrived in US Just Two Months Ago - Moscow
On Thursday, US outgoing President Barack Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, the closing of two Russian diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities over Moscow's alleged interference in the November US presidential election.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the US allegations of election interference, characterizing them as absurd and laughable nonsense. Moreover, they have said such allegations are intended to deflect US public attention from revelations of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia "will not expel anyone" in response to US sanctions and will determine further steps in restoring ties with the United States depending on the policy of President-elect Donald Trump. US President-elect Donald Trump in a Twitter message praised Putin’s call as a "great move."

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