On December 29, the Obama Administration sanctioned Russia’s security services and military intelligence and declared 35 diplomats persona non grata, calling Moscow's "malicious cyber-enabled activities" a "national emergency." Commenting on the decision, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page: “Today America and the American people were disparaged by their own president. This time Washington was slapped in the face by its own leader, who maximized the number of the incoming team’s pressing problems." She then described the Obama administration as "a group of foreign policy losers, embittered and narrow-minded." Zakharova also added: "Being unable to include any major achievements on the global arena in the history of his presidency, the Nobel Prize winner managed to close his chapter with an ugly splotch instead of an elegant period mark." In her post Zakharova wrote that the whole world is watching "the devastating blow to the prestige of America and its leadership, dealt by Barack Obama and his incompetent foreign policy team." In an interesting twist Zakaharova on her Facebook page tried to differentiate between Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. "Allow us to convey our words of solidarity- You employed the best efforts, in order to prevent the foreign-policy collapse of your country." No American secretary of state should have had to put up with what Kerry went through, commiserated Zakaharova.
Zakarova (Source: Mid.ru)
Zakharova: ‘We Are Tired Of Lies About Russian Hackers That Continue To Be Spread In The United States From The Very Top’
On December 28, prior to the official introduction of the new sanctions, Zakharova stated: “The outgoing U.S. administration has not given up on its hope of dealing one last blow to relations with Russia, which it has already destroyed. Using obviously inspired leaks in the U.S. media, it is trying to threaten us again with expansion of anti-Russian sanctions, ‘diplomatic’ measures and even subversion of our computer systems. Moreover, this final New Year’s ‘greeting’ from Barack Obama’s team, which is already preparing to leave the White House, is being cynically presented as a response to some cyber-attacks from Moscow.
“Frankly speaking, we are tired of lies about Russian hackers that continue to be spread in the United States from the very top. The Obama administration launched this misinformation half a year ago in a bid to play up to the required nominee at the November presidential election and, having failed to achieve the desired effect, has been trying to justify its failure by taking it out with a vengeance on Russian-US relations.
“However, the truth about the White House-orchestrated provocation is bound to surface sooner or later. In fact, this is already happening. On December 8, U.S. media quoted [U.S. State of] Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp as saying that the local authorities tracked down the origin of a hacker attack on his voter registration database after the election. The attack was traced to an IP address of the Department of Homeland Security. This was followed by an attempt to quickly cover up this information by a flood of new anti-Russian accusations that did not contain a single piece of evidence.
“We can only add that if Washington takes new hostile steps, it will receive an answer. This applies to any actions against Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, which will immediately backfire at U.S. diplomats in Russia. The Obama administration probably does not care at all about the future of bilateral relations, but history will hardly forgive it for this après-nous-le-deluge attitude.”
Zakharova: Obama’s Foreign Policy Evokes The 'Aversion' Of The Entire World
Just few days before, Zakharova declared that the Obama administration’s foreign policy evokes the “aversion” of the entire world, in an interview with the Sunday Evening weekly news roundup on the Rossiya-1 TV channel. Zakharova said: "I think this man [Obama] and his team - naturally, speaking about the man we mean the team which has proved to be bad for all on the global arena." She then added: "I think this eight-year office served under the slogan of their exclusiveness evoked aversion of the entire world. They have failed to fulfill their obligations taken before some countries, they have failed to fulfill what they were commissioned to, including by the American people on the global arena." According to Zakharova, from the "moral point of view" the Obama administration can be blamed for committing a "crime" as it demonstrated that "the stronger has unlimited rights to do evil. This is what this administration will leave in history."
Zakharova: ‘The Authorization Act Has Been Adopted By The… Obama Administration… To Create Problems For The Incoming Trump Administration’
On December 27, Zakharova criticized in a statement the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. Zakharova said: “We have noted that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which President Barack Obama signed on December 23, just as similar documents adopted in the past years, includes numerous instructions to the Pentagon on a policy regarding Russia. For example, it reaffirms the ban on military cooperation with Russia until it is certified that ‘the Russian Federation has ceased its occupation of Ukrainian territory and its aggressive activities that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’ and ‘is abiding by the terms of and taking steps in support of the Minsk Protocols regarding a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.’
“The persistent efforts to condition bilateral military ties on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine are surprising. Our U.S. partners should have long ago accepted obvious facts: the Crimeans’ decision to reunite with Russia and the deplorable situation in Ukraine are not the result of the mysterious ‘Russian aggression’ but direct consequences of the state coup in Kiev nearly three years ago, the coup that received ideological support and was supervised by the current U.S. administration. Instead of accusing Russia of failure to comply with the Minsk Agreements, to which Russia is not a party, Washington should rein in its Ukrainian clients, who are obviously not interested in a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass.
“Furthermore, it is unclear how Russia can threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of NATO member states, when it is our American partners and their allies who have enhanced their military activities, expanding the territory of the alliance and moving their military capabilities closer to Russian borders. It is not surprising that we have to take this into account when planning our military development.
“A large section of the Act is devoted to ballistic missile defense (BMD). In the past, the U.S .BMD system was designed to respond to limited strikes at the United States, whereas now its task is to provide ‘an effective, robust layered defense’ against a ballistic missile threat. In other words, Washington has abandoned the tall story about a nuclear threat allegedly coming from Iran and North Korea, which it used to justify the need to deploy anti-missiles, and has clearly indicated that its plans are much broader and are designed to disrupt its nuclear parity with Russia and to achieve unilateral advantages in this strategic sphere.
“However, the ban on cooperation with Russia can be waived if ‘the waiver is in the national security interest of the United States.’ The issue concerns cooperation under arms control agreements and military operations in Afghanistan. This selective approach cannot be effective, as we have seen in Syria, where our American partners refused to maintain full-fledged counterterrorism cooperation with Russia.
“Instead of joining forces to cut short the sway of all forms of extremism there, as we suggested long ago, Washington has decided to deliver military assistance to anti-government groups, which are not much different from the terrorist cutthroats. Now the new Act openly stipulates the possibility of supplying them with weapons, including portable air defense missile systems.
“The Obama administration is bound to see that these weapons will soon find their way to the jihadists with whom the alleged “moderate opposition” has been acting hand in glove. Maybe that is what the United States hopes will happen, because it has been sponsoring Jabhat al-Nusra, a terrorist group and a branch of al-Qaeda. This can only be described as sponsoring terrorism.
“This U.S. decision directly threatens the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, other Russian military personnel and the Russian Embassy in Syria, which has been shelled more than once. This is why we view this as a hostile decision.
The Act also includes other provisions that affect Russian interests, including the groundless claims of alleged Russian violations of the INF Treaty and concerns about our compliance with the New START Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty. Most importantly, the above allegations are used as justification for the accelerated development of conventional prompt global strike weapons. In other words, Washington is publicly engaging in sabre rattling.
“It is surprising that the National Defense Authorization Act authorizes the U.S. President to impose ‘sanctions with respect to any foreign person the President determines’ to be responsible for human rights violations. President Obama has globalized the infamous Magnitsky Act (2012), thereby dooming the United States to problems in relations not just with Russia but also with the rest of the world. It is an old foreign policy tradition of Washington to use human rights to put pressure on undesirable governments. But the new Authorization Act has openly given the Pentagon the power to spread US-style democracy across the planet.
Overall, it appears that the Authorization Act has been adopted by the outgoing Obama administration, which is hastily introducing new sanctions against Russia, to create problems for the incoming Trump administration and complicate its relations on the international stage, as well as to force it to adopt an anti-Russia policy. This policy has brought the current U.S. administration, which believed that Russia would bow to pressure, into a dead end. We hope the new administration will be more sagacious.”
 Tass.com, December 30, 2016.
 Facebook.com/maria.zakharova.167, December 29, 2016.
 Mid.ru, December 28, 2016.
 Tass.com, December 25, 2016.
 Mid.ru, December 27, 2016.