The decision of the Obama administration to close two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States is outrageous, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin stated on Friday.

Churkin added the decision to block access to Russia’s facilities at a time of the Holliday season is “rather cynical.”

On Thursday, the Obama administration also announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities over Moscow’s alleged interference in the November presidential election.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the US allegations of election interference, characterizing them as absurd and laughable nonsense.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the new sanctions are provocation by the outgoing Obama administration aimed at further undermining US-Russian relations. Putin added that while Russia reserves the right to retaliate, Moscow would not create problems for or expel US diplomats, nor prohibit their families to use their Holidays’ vacation spots.

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