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Russia Threatens to Take Measures Against US Over Interference in Elections, Foreign Ministry Says

Sputnik News

20210916
Daria Bedenko

Moscow has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding what it sees as interference by western nations in its upcoming parliamentary elections.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday warned it would take measures against the United States over "interference in elections".

The Foreign Ministry additionally noted that it had clarified its position on meddling in internal affairs to the US State Department.

According to the ministry, Moscow possesses "irrefutable" evidence of American internet platforms breaching Russian law in light of the upcoming election.

"As you know, the patience of the Russian side, which has so far refrained from erecting barriers to American business in Russia, is not unlimited", Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said during her briefing.

Elections to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, will take place from 17 to 19 September. These elections are held every five years with the use of a mixed electoral system which includes the election of 225 representatives from party lists and another 225 from single-mandate constituencies.

Concerns about possible election interference were voiced earlier by the Kremlin. In particular, US Ambassador John Sullivan was summonned to the Russian Foreign Ministry last week over allegations of the American "digital giants" trying to interfere with the upcoming parliamentary vote.

In late August, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) announced that it will not send its observers after Russia's request to reduce their number due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The US voiced support for the decision.

Russian Central Election Commission estimated that a total of 250 international observers representing 55 countries and 10 international organizations will be present at the upcoming elections.

The European Parliament Report

Moscow also vowed to "strongly respond" to "unacceptable" meddling in the nation's internal affairs with regard to a European Parliament report on Russian elections.

"It is obvious that the European Parliament intends to draw some conclusions on this score [about the elections] on the basis of the conclusions of those organizations that either simply withdrew themselves under a far-fetched pretext from participating in the monitoring of the State Duma elections, or have nothing to do with this process," Zakharova said at a briefing.

The report was issued earlier on Thursday, saying that the European Union should "counterbalance the efforts of Russia and China to weaken democracy worldwide and destabilise the European order".

Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow views the report as regrettable due to the lack of calls to establish a dialogue and resolve existing disagreements through communication.

© Sputnik



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