Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his decision not to expel American diplomats in response to a similar move by the US.
The MEP and prominent Brexit campaigner commended Putin on Twitter, describing the move as “mature.”
Farage, who has cultivated a close relationship with US President-elect Donald Trump since the US election, went on to say the new administration “can’t come soon enough.”
On Friday, Putin rejected calls by the Russian Foreign Ministry to expel 35 American diplomats in response to a similar move by the US.
He said Obama’s act was designed to provoke a reaction, but Russia would not take the bait.
US President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats on Thursday, giving them 72 hours to leave US soil.
Obama described the diplomats as “intelligence operatives” and also announced the closure of two Russian compounds in the US.
In a statement published on the Kremlin website, Putin said: “We reserve the right to retaliate, but we will not sink to the level of this irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy.
“We will take further moves on restoring Russian-American relations based on the policies that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump adopts.”
Obama said in a statement the expulsions were “in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of US officials and cyber operations aimed at the US election.”
Moscow denies the allegations.