The U.S. government recently officially accused Russia of interference in this year's presidential election through hacking attacks, with outgoing President Barack Obama issuing sanctions and expulsions over the matter.
Moscow has constantly denied that Russia is involved in any hacking attacks against the United States and the presidential election. The Kremlin promised that it will be retaliating against the sanctions and expulsions lodged by the Obama administration, with an official statement and countermeasures to soon be released.
Russia's Response To Hacking Sanctions
The Obama administration has issued sanctions against two Russian intelligence agencies, while also expelling 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives in the United States who were serving under diplomatic cover.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his official statement, said that he will not be resorting to "kitchen" diplomacy in dealing with Obama's sanctions for the alleged hacking activities.
Putin added that while Russia has the right to launch a retaliation against the Obama administration, the Kremlin would instead be planning the restoration of the relations between the the two governments once the Trump administration is sworn into power.
Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, previously suggested that Russia would retaliate by likewise expelling 35 diplomats from the United States who are in Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, Putin decided against the idea, as he reportedly chose "not to dignify the measures taken against Russia with a response," according to Wilson Center globe fellow Michael Kofman.
How Will Trump Handle The Hacking Allegations?
Incoming President Donald Trump will have to choose between seeing through Obama's sanctions, as key Republicans in Congress have supported them, or push forward with his campaign promise of improving relations with Russia.
"It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things," said Trump in a statement after the sanctions were released by the Obama administration, but in the interest of the United States and its people, Trump will meet with the country's intelligence agencies to learn the facts of the alleged hacking.
After Putin released his statement that he will not retaliate against Obama's sanctions, Trump praised the Russian president.
"Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!" tweeted Trump.
Did Russia Really Hack The Election?
The United States government has previously accused the Russian government of interfering with the national elections, with media outlets now repeatedly reporting that the presidential election was hacked by Russia.
The statement that "Russia hacked the elections" is up for debate though. While United States intelligence agencies claimed that Russia sponsored the attacks that targeted organizations and personnel of the Democratic Party, there has been no evidence or allegations that the hacking attacks actually tampered with the results of the presidential elections, which is what the above statement could be understood as saying.