Russia’s alleged hacking of Democratic officials during the presidential election campaign may cost the country dearly. The Obama administration has indicated that Moscow could be penalized and such an action may happen quickly. President Barack Obama informed reporters in the early days of December that there would retaliation against Russians. He also said that there is a chance that such retaliation will not be publicized, warning that the action will send an unambiguous message to Russia and other countries trying to do similar things. The message would be tough and will clearly indicate that the United States can cause intense harm to a target country if it wants to. The president did not indicate the nature of the retaliatory action. The Obama administration, along with the US intelligence agencies have said earlier that it has proof that Russia has involved with the presidential election to assist in forming a Trump Presidency.
Russia, for its part, denied such hacking allegations and roundly condemned the probable imposition of such sanctions. It described such reports as provocations made by Washington.
Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the Kremlin is tired of lies concerning “Russian hackers”. She said that it is a matter of pain that such lies are said from the top echelons of the Obama administration.
When it comes to Trump, the President-Elect has questioned the possibility of Russia being the behind the scenes player of hacking the email accounts of Democratic officials. In his explanation, he blamed the Democrats for cooking up such a story to cover the election loss of Hillary Clinton.
Two Senators from the Republican Party- Arizona’s John McCain and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham- said that they will support if sanctions are imposed on Russia. However, they insisted that such sanctions must be imposed by the new Trump administration and new Congress. Graham, in his briefing to the media, said that Russia must be hit in sustained fashion. Wrong signals will be sent if Obama does something as such actions may not be sustainable. The Republican Senator demanded sanctions to be imposed on the Russian energy sector. He also recommended that President Putin must be highlighted for maximum individual sanctions. McCain also seconded Graham’s stance against Putin. He said that the Russian President must understand that any future action against the US will be forcefully responded and added that the US needs a non-flexible policy in such matters.