Vladimir Putin is betting that the smartest move is to do nothing.
The Russian president announced Friday that his government would not expel any U.S. diplomats in retaliation for U.S. punitive measures unveiled by the White House a day earlier in response to Russia’s alleged cyber-attacks.
Putin’s sidestep away from confrontation was widely read as a deliberate bow to President-elect Donald Trump -- and a final hard slap at President Obama in the waning weeks of the U.S. leader’s tenure.
“We will not create any problems for U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anyone,” Putin said in a statement posted on the Kremlin website that...