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Putin decides not to expel US diplomats

AAP logoAAP 29/12/2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided not to expel any US diplomats and instead invited them and their families to a New Year's party at the Kremlin.

"We will not create any problems for American diplomats. We will not expel anyone," Putin said in a statement posted on the Kremlin's website on Friday.

Russia would decline to utilise its right to a reciprocal measure, Putin said, after the US announced it was expelling 35 Russian diplomats in a dispute over alleged Russian hacking geared to influence the US presidential election.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that his country intended to expel the same number of US diplomats from Russia as a reciprocal response.

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