The US is to expel 35 Russian diplomats, and shut down two Russian compounds, in response to “harassment” of American diplomats in Moscow and alleged interference in the recent presidential election.
The diplomats being asked to leave work at the Russian embassy in Washington, and at the country’s consulate in San Francisco.
Two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland, used for intelligence gathering, will be closed.
Two US officials said measures were being taken after Russia allegedly hacked US political institutions and individuals.
Moscow has denied hacking.
In addition, Vladimir Putin’s country is accused of helping President-elect Donald Trump, and
other Republican candidates, by leaking information.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the US wanted to “definitively destroy US-Russia relations which have already reached a low”.
According to the Ria-Novosti news agency, Mr Peskov said Russia would “react in an adequate manner based on the principles of
“We categorically reject the unfounded assertions and accusations made about Russia,” he reportedly added.
The Russian embassy in the UK tweeted:
“President Obama expels 35 (Russian) diplomats in Cold War deja vu. As everybody, incl (the American) people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless Adm.”