U.S. prepares sanctions for retaliation against Russian election meddling

| Updated: Dec 29, 2016 16:41 IST

New York [USA], Dec. 29 (ANI): According to some officials, the Barack Obama administration is preparing to announce a series of retaliation measures against Russia for meddling in the US election and the announcement may be made as soon as Thursday. The officials briefed about the plan said the actions are expected to include expanded sanctions and diplomatic measures, in what the administration deems a proportional response to the Russian hacking operation, reports the CNN. Some of the steps are expected to name individuals associated with a Russian disinformation campaign that U.S. intelligence officials say used hacked information from mostly Democratic Party organizations and officials to attack the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Meanwhile, official representative for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, said in a statement on the ministry's website, "If Washington really does take new hostile steps, they will be answered ... any action against Russian diplomatic missions in the US will immediately bounce back on U.S. diplomats in Russia." She went on to say of the hacking, "frankly, we are tired about the lies about Russian hackers -- it's misinformation by Obama administration aimed at providing an excuse for its own failure." The U.S. officials have also said the federal government also plans some unannounced actions taken through covert means at a time of its choosing. The retaliatory measures are separate from an intelligence report President Obama ordered on foreign hacking of US election entities. The report expected in early January will include declassified intelligence information on cyber hacks by China in 2008 and 2012, as well as the hacking and disinformation activities by Russian intelligence agencies in the 2016 campaign, the officials said. (ANI)