Russia has pledged "adequate reprisals" over US sanctions and accused Washington of trying to destroy ties by making "unfounded" allegations of interference in the US elections.
The United States wants to "definitively destroy US-Russia relations which have already reached a low" Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday, adding that Russia will "react in an adequate manner based on the principles of reciprocity."
Washington announced a series of measures against Russia, including tough sanctions on Russia's top two intelligence agencies, the expulsion of 35 agents and a decision to shut down two Russian compounds in the US.
"We categorically reject the unfounded assertions and accusations made about Russia," Peskov said, according to the Ria-Novosti news agency.
"The American sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 35 diplomats in 72 hours are proof of a real paranoia," said Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.
"They are once again taking very aggressive measures against our country," he said, according to Ria-Novosti.
President Barack Obama had all but accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering an audacious cyber hack that many Democrats believe damaged Hillary Clinton's chances in November's closely fought election with Republican foe Donald Trump.
The US intelligence community has concluded that a hack-and-release of Democratic Party and Clinton staff emails was designed to put Trump — a political neophyte who has praised Putin — into the Oval Office.
The US government is also declassifying technical information on Russian cyber activity to help companies defend against future attacks.