18:17 GMT27 September 2020
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    As Russia is preparing to hold a presidential election in 2018, Moscow anticipates that Washington will step up its meddling in the internal affairs of Russia via NGOs.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow is not ruling out that the United States will seek to increase its influence via non-governmental organizations ahead of the Russian elections, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.

    "The issues related to the activities of the US-funded NGOs in Russia are constantly in the line of sight of the executive branch … I would like to stress that despite the measures taken to strengthen the control over these activities, the infiltration and US influence is not waning. We expect a further increase in levels, increased intensity and sophistication, if you will, of this work in the upcoming period linked to the pre-elections period," Ryabkov said at the Russian upper house.

    On June 6, a senior Russian lawmaker said there was "no doubt" the United States and its NATO allies might meddle in the Russian presidential campaign next year.

    "The anti-Russia hysteria in the West, primarily in the context of our seeming interference in elections in some countries, have reached such scale that it is impossible to ignore it… It is evident that there is a well-planned smear campaign against our country," Ryabkov stated.

    As many as 28 percent of attacks on Russian information resources is carried out from the territory of the United States, Ryabkov said.

    "About 28 percent of all attacks on Russian electronic infrastructure is made from US territory, while only 2-3 percent is made from ours with respect to US computers," he said.

    Concerns over Russia's potential interference into foreign elections have recently been raised in several countries. The issue traces back to the recent US presidential campaign, when Washington repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in the election and alleged hacking attempts. French President Emmanuel Macron also claimed during the French election campaign that his headquarters was targeted by Russian hackers, albeit without providing evidence.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that there was no proof that Russia was involved in the election process of the United States, Germany, France, or the United Kingdom.

    Russia's ill-wishers are increasing their interference into Russian affairs from abroad, upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko said.

    "Society significantly consolidated in the years of V.V. Putin's presidency, citizens were allowed to believe in their country, in their strength," Matvienko said in opening a session on foreign interference. "Therefore, our detractors are forced to increase their emphasis on external pressure on Russia."

    She listed sanctions, resolutions and declarations, as well as attempts to discredit Russian diplomats as examples of foreign meddling in Russia's domestic affairs.


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