With less than a month to go before a new administration steps in, the Obama leadership is set to impose "retaliatory" measures against Russia after weighing strong evidence that it meddled in the last presidential elections.
US officials, according to a report from CNN, revealed the administration may announce the moves anytime this week, which may include diplomatic measures and expanded sanctions. Sources say that this is deemed to be a response to Russian- backed cyber hacking operations that influenced the outcome of the last US presidential elections.
Intelligence reports that were released to the White House showed that Russian hackers orchestrated a massive online propaganda and disinformation campaign using hacked information mostly from organizations allied with the Democratic Party and used against the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
The officials, however, points out that these measures may include some unannounced measures through covert means any time soon.
Three US senators also support the government's move to place sanctions. They claimed that both parties in the senate gave popular support for the sanction move. Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Republicans Lindsey Graham and John McCain said that they echoing the move during a visit to the Baltic states Wednesday.
"I would say that 99 of us (senators) believe the Russians did this and we're going to do something about it. Russia is trying to break the back of democracies all around the world. It is now time for Russia to understand - enough is enough," Senator Graham said during the interview.
In response to the pronouncements of the US officials, Russia's Foreign Ministry Affairs issued a statement on its website that hostile action taken by Washington shall be reciprocated by Russia.
"If Washington really does take new hostile steps, they will be answered ... any action against Russian diplomatic missions in the US will immediately bounce back on US diplomats in Russia. Frankly, we are tired about the lies about Russian hackers -- it's misinformation by Obama administration aimed at providing an excuse for its own failure," says Maria Zakharova, the ministry's official representative.
Cyber security experts believe that this hacking incident does not involve tampering or physical intervention with the actual voting machines, rather, it was a hacking attack to secure information and data from the Democratic Party, particularly with Clinton, that served to affect the outcome of the elections.
The incident was also purportedly responsible for getting Donald Trump elected as the next president of the United States of America.