Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said “RIP” to the outgoing US administration of Barack Obama on Twitter on Friday, after the White House decided to expel 35 Russian diplomats.
“It is regrettable that the Obama administration, which started out by restoring our ties, is ending its term in an anti-Russia agony. RIP,” Medvedev said on Twitter in English.
Obama announced on Thursday that he had passed executive actions to impose sanctions on Russia’s cyber intelligence community, including several companies, and expel 35 Russian diplomats.
The measures were in response to hacking of Democratic Party emails that exposed favouritism toward Hillary Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders.
The exposé, which the US leadership believes was perpetrated with support from the Russian government, was a boon to Republican candidate Donald Trump, who went on to win the election.
The vice speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Irina Yarovaya, said Friday that the US sanctions against Russia were Obama’s “revenge on voters” who elected Trump.
Americans showed in the recent presidential election that they have “discarded such aggressive and Russophobic policies,” Yarovaya said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
Trump, who has previously praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and vowed to seek better relations with the country, could theoretically reverse Obama’s executive actions when he enters office on January 20.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced Obama’s actions as “groundless and illegal from the point of view of international law,” according to comments carried by TASS.
Peskov said that Russia was ready to conduct a response to cause “significant discomfort to the US,” TASS reported.