14:51 GMT13 July 2020
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    Moscow introduced sufficient measures in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States, political scientist and head of the Russian State Duma’s Education Committee Vyacheslav Nikonov said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he expected the expulsion of 35 US embassy and consulate staff, as well as ban the use of a vacation retreat by US diplomats, to be considered promptly as retaliatory steps against the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States, the closing of two Russian diplomatic compounds and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities over Moscow's alleged interference in the November US presidential election, which the Kremlin has denied.

    "I think, yes [sufficient]," Nikonov said, when asked if the Russian retaliatory measures implemented against the United States were sufficient.

    Nikonov added that there was no sense in promoting tensions in the US-Russian relations, following outgoing US President Barack Obama’s lead.

    Nikonov noted that his opinion was based on the assumption that Obama intended to do everything possible to complicate US President-elect Donald Trump’s presidency and future US-Russian relations.

    The retaliatory measures are always symmetrical when the diplomats are concerned, Nikonov stressed.

    US officials have accused Russia of being behind cyberattacks on US Democratic Party computer systems in an attempt to influence the November 8 presidential election in favor of Trump. Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations, calling them absurd and characterizing them as an attempt to divert US public opinion from revelations of corruption as well as other pressing domestic issues.


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