Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that the Kremlin will expel 10 US diplomats in response to the nation’s sanctions over allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds Corp.
The US has already expelled 10 US diplomats, sanctioned officials, and organizations and imposed new curbs on Russia’s ability to borrow money.
Lavrov also said that Moscow will add eight U.S. officials to its sanctions list and restrict US NGOs from interfering in their affairs.
President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, also invited U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan on Friday to explain their response.
Lavrov warned that Russia could even take additional measures and threatened to oust as many as 150 more diplomats if “pleasantries” continued and that they could resort to more painful responses.
Russia maintained that it did not interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and was not involved in the SolarWind hack of federal agencies.
“Washington should realize that it will have to pay a price for the degradation of bilateral ties,” warned the Russian Foreign Ministry.