Donald Trump praises response ‘delay’ by Russia’s Vladimir Putin to US sanctions

A file photo shows US President Barack Obama (left) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talking before an economic leaders meeting.
A file photo shows US President Barack Obama (left) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talking before an economic leaders meeting.PHOTO: AFP

PALM BEACH, Florida (REUTERS) – US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday (Dec 30) praised the “delay” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, apparently referring to Putin’s refusal to retaliate for the US expulsion of 35 Russians over their alleged involvement in hacking political groups before the Nov 8 presidential election.

“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of the 35 Russians and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking political groups in the Nov 8 poll.

The CIA and others in the US intelligence community say the cyber attacks were intended to aid Trump. Russia says the hacking accusations are untrue.

A total of 96 Russians are expected to leave the United States including expelled diplomats and their families, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

As a Sunday deadline approached for them to leave the United States, Putin said he would wait for the actions of Trump, who takes office on Jan 20, before responding.