Russia denies reports of retaliation against new US sanctions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in front of a statue of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.
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Chung Sung-Jun / Getty

Russia’s foreign ministry denied reports it was retaliating against new US sanctions leveled against the Kremlin by closing an Anglo-American school in Moscow.

On Thursday, CNN reported that in the wake of the US’ expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, Russia ordered the closing of the Anglo-American School of Moscow, Thursday, citing an unnamed US official with knowledge of the action.

The school serves the children of Western embassy personnel from Canada, Britain, and the US.

Russia’s foreign ministry on Friday denied it moved to close the school.

Russia also ordered the closing of a US embassy vacation house, located about 16 kilometers west of Moscow, CNN reported.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, hinted at the response Russia would take in an earlier statement, saying US actions against Russian diplomats in the US would receive a similar response that she said would “immediately backfire at US diplomats in Russia.”

“The outgoing US administration has not given up on its hope of dealing one last blow to relations with Russia, which it has already destroyed,” her statement said.

The Kremlin earlier said the US would “receive an answer” if it took new punitive actions against Russia. The Obama administration indicated previously that it would hold Russia accountable for cyberattacks that US intelligence agencies have said were designed to interfere with the US election.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would not expel US diplomats in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the US.