"The Russian diplomats returning home will spend the New Year Holidays with their relatives and dear ones. At home. We will not create problems for U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anybody," Putin said in a statement circulated by the Kremlin press service, TASS reports.

Read alsoNew sanctions, expulsion of diplomats "not the sum total" of response to Russia’s aggressive activities – ObamaRussia announces 35 U.S. diplomats persona non grata - those are 31 employees of the embassy in Moscow and four of the consulate general in St. Petersburg, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday, according to TASS.