The tables are turned as Russia is the one accusing the U.S. now of “direct interference” in the country’s upcoming election following the State Department’s criticisms of Kremlin’s barring Putin’s potentially strongest rival from running against him in next year’s polls.
Russian spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote a strongly-worded reaction about the State Department’s criticisms on social media site Facebook on Tuesday saying that the U.S. is interfering in their “internal affairs.”
The State Department slammed Russia after its election commission blocked Alexei Navalry from challenging Putin in next year’s March presidential election, arguing that it translates to an “ongoing crackdown against independent voices, from journalists to civil society activists and opposition politician.”
Russia’s Central Election Commission last week unanimously voted to prevent 41-year-old Navalry from running citing his record of a suspended sentence for a fraud case. Navalry following the decision has called on the Russian voters to boycott the election.
The U.S. State Department concluded that Putin’s government is failing to protect and uphold fundamental freedoms. It went on to urge Kremlin to “hold genuine elections that are transparent, fair, and free that guarantee the free expression of the will of the people with its international human rights obligations.”
Zakharova didn’t take the statements lightly and blasted the U.S. government in return, regardless if it’s within the mandate and principles of the State Department to push for human rights and fundamental freedoms the world over. Zakharova fumed: “And these people expressed outrage over alleged Russian ‘interference’ in their electoral process for an entire year?! The funniest thing is that these are the same people who just tagged RT and Sputnik as foreign agents, who are harassing Russian media around the world and who are investing huge amounts of money into ‘countering Russian propaganda’, which is how they label anyone who they disagree with.”
Zakharova may have turned back the tables on the U.S. but some U.S. intelligence agencies have consistently maintained that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It is a claim, however, which Trump has dismissed saying it’s just the product of the pathetic sour-graping of the Democrats and especially Hillary Clinton who still cannot accept her fate of losing to him.