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State Dept. Gives Russian Diplomats in San Francisco and D.C. 72 Hours to Leave U.S.

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The Consulate General of Russia on Green Street in San Francisco. (Wikicommons)

Updated Friday, 2:48 p.m.: 

President-elect Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin on Twitter for stating he won't expel U.S. Diplomats in Russia in response to U.S. sanctions imposed Thursday.

The State Department has kicked out 35 Russian diplomats from its embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco, giving them and their families 72 hours starting Thursday to leave the U.S. The diplomats were declared persona non grata for acting in a "manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status."

According to NPR, Putin will wait to see what the president elect will do before taking any retaliatory action.


The Associated Press reports that Putin called Obama’s move a ‘‘provocation aimed at further undermining Russian-American relations’’ less than a month before Trump takes office.

Updated Thursday, 1:05 p.m.:

The foreign affairs committee chairman of the Russian parliament's upper chamber says Russia will see what President-elect Donald Trump has to say about U.S. sanctions announced on Thursday before stating retaliatory measures of its own.

The chairman, Konstantin Kosachev, told the Interfax news agency that Russia "needs to consider the circumstances of the transition period and a possible reaction of the U.S. president-elect."

In a statement, the White House said: "Over the past two years, harassment of our diplomatic personnel in Russia by security personnel and police has increased significantly and gone far beyond international diplomatic norms of behavior. Other Western Embassies have reported similar concerns."

Obama said Russians will no longer have access to two Russian government-owned compounds in the United States, in Maryland and in New York.

Russian officials have denied the Obama administration's accusation that the Russian government was trying to influence the U.S. presidential election.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia's goal was to help Donald Trump win — an assessment Trump has dismissed as ridiculous.

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