07:10 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Washington 'Ready to Accuse Russia of Anything' to Keep Sanctions in Place

    © CC BY-SA 2.0 / Ken Lund / United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
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    US officials and politicians, including Hillary Clinton, have claimed that the Russian government is trying to influence political process in the United States, but defense analyst Igor Korotchenko told Radio Sputnik that Washington is ready to accuse Moscow of anything to justify its calls for keeping anti-Russian sanctions in place.

    These accusations, the analyst said, are not backed by evidence and have more to do with the upcoming presidential election. Among other things he was referring to a hack attack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) earlier this year, a source of major embarrassment for the party.

    "One would think that if our country has been accused of something, these allegations would be backed by facts," he said, pointing to a large intelligence community in the US which comprises 16 government agencies. "But there is nothing except for words."

    Korotchenko, Editor-in-chief of National Defense Magazine, reiterated that it was unclear who hacked into DNC servers.

    "At the same time, they say that Russia is coordinating everything. Some even said that Julian Assange's WikiLeaks is a Russian project. I was astonished to learn this. However, US officials have persistently claimed this," he said.

    The defense analyst suggested that Washington's groundless accusations might point to the fact that the Democrats are afraid that Hillary Clinton will lose to Donald Trump.

    Russia has been accused of trying to influence the US presidential election in favor of the New York real estate magnate. Korotchenko emphasized that there was "not a single fact" behind these claims, adding that the FBI, the CIA and the NSA should determine who the hackers are.

    "I think these assertions are linked to domestic affairs in the US," he said. "We do not claim that the United States is behind cyberattacks when our servers are hacked. True, we could suspect this, but there are no facts that would allow us to make official statements. Americans have no scruples about this," he said.

    On October 26, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US and Europe are determined to keep "tough economic sanctions" imposed on Russia due to Moscow's alleged meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs. "Our unity has been made even stronger by Russian President Putin's repeated efforts to interfere in the functioning of our democratic systems," he added.

    A day later, Vladimir Putin referred to similar claims as "hysteria."

    "Does anyone seriously think that Russia can somehow influence the choice of the American people? Is America a banana republic or what? America is a great power," the Russian president observed.

    Earlier this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry's ambassador-at-large Vladimir Churov said that it was technically impossible for Russia or any other country to rig elections in the US.

    "No one from the outside can affect these results in any way. In every country – be it Brazil, Mongolia, Russia, the US or Ukraine – voter registration, vote count and transfer systems are independent of the Internet. This is a local network using dedicated separate secure communication channels that simply have no outward access and are not susceptible to any external influence," Churov told RIA Novosti.

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    Tags:
    anti-Russian sanctions, sanctions, cyberattacks, presidential election, 2016 US Presidential election, Vladimir Churov, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, United States, Russia
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