Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday announced that Moscow would expel 10 US and 3 Polish diplomats in retaliation to the expulsion of its diplomats by the US and Poland on Thursday.

Lavrov noted that eight US officials had been added to Russia’s sanctions lists and that Moscow would take moves to limit and even stop the activity of US non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that it says are interfering in Russian politics.

Moscow also recommended the US to recall Ambassador John Sullivan — Russia recalled its ambassador to Washington in March, in response to US President Joe Biden calling Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer” in a televised interview.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has steadfastly warned of “inevitable” retaliation, noting that, “Washington should realise that it will have to pay a price for the degradation of bilateral ties.”

Though Lavrov emphasised Moscow could undertake more “painful measures” in the future, he said it would refrain from doing so at this juncture.

The Russian response came after the US announced new sanctions for alleged Russian cyberattacks on US government websites in the massive SolarWinds hack and political interference in the 2020 presidential elections.

Moscow denies any involvement in either incident.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that of the 32 individuals and companies sanctioned by US President Biden for alleged cybercrimes, 10 are based in Pakistan.

The US Department of the Treasury issued a statement identifying these individuals and organisations.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at


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