Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert accused Russia on Wednesday of a "coercion and violence" campaign in Crimea, following President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the region, which voted by landslide to secede from Ukraine in 2014.
"We regard the claims that our country has undermined the international order, following President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Crimea, as another blatant attempt to influence the political situation in the context of the upcoming election. Washington will not succeed," the embassy said in a statement.
The embassy stressed that the vote "repaired historical wrongs" and emphasized that the Black Sea republic and its port city of Sevastopol had been "definitively integrated" in Russia's political and legal life. It argued that regional minorities had been represented proportionately in all branches of the government, while the number of ethnic and religious conflicts remained low.
Putin visited Crimea shortly before the presidential election this Sunday, where he is running as an independent against seven other candidates.
They are Sergey Baburin from All-People's Union, Communist Party's Pavel Grudinin, Civil Initiative's Ksenia Sobchak, Communists of Russia's Maxim Suraykin, presidential commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights Boris Titov, the Yabloko party's Grigory Yavlinsky, and the Liberal Democrats leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.