07:02 GMT +322 January 2019
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    The Russian Federation flag flies above the Russian embassy in Washington, DC.

    Russian Diplomats Threatened Over Potential Presence at US Polling Stations

    © AFP 2018 / Mario TAMA
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    Russian diplomats have received threats that their plans to be present at polling stations during the US presidential elections could be considered a criminal act, the Russian Embassy in Washington said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US media reported on Thursday that government officials in the states of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas had rejected Russian requests to observe the US presidential and local elections in November.

    "Unfortunately, we received mostly negative responses including threats that our interest and presence at polling stations could be seen as a criminal act," the embassy said in a statement published on its website Friday.

    The embassy continued saying that it had not submitted any requests to the US State Department regarding the election observation.

    "As a matter of respectfully conducting our diplomatic duties we sent the information on our intentions to the Department of State…. In response we received a note suggesting that all the Russian missions in the U.S. wishing to participate in the 'observation' should refer to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights mission," the embassy said.

    The embassy stressed that it had applied to electoral commissions showing interest in "getting acquainted" with the US experience of the elections procedures, not "observing" the elections.

    Department of State spokesman John Kirby said Friday the United States had informed the Russian government that it was welcome to observe the US elections.

    The US presidential elections are set to take place on November 8.


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