18:55 GMT19 April 2021
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    On Tuesday, US intelligence released a report on foreign threats to the 2020 elections. It alleged that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin authorised efforts to undermine the then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

    The US intelligence accusations against Russia of alleged election meddling are groundless, the Russian embassy in Washington said on Wednesday.

    "The document prepared by the US intelligence community is yet another set of groundless accusations against our country of interfering in American internal political processes. The conclusions of the report on the conduct by Russia of influence operations in America are confirmed solely by the confidence of the intelligence services in their correctness. No facts or concrete evidence of such claims is provided," the embassy said on Facebook.

    The US National Intelligence Council claimed in a Tuesday report that Russian President Vladimir Putin knew of and directed an alleged state effort to manipulate the heated 2020 presidential election in favour of former US President Donald Trump. The report also added that there were no "persistent" Russian efforts to gain access to election infrastructure.

    “We assess that… Putin authorised, and a range of Russian government organisations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President [Donald] Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US,” the report said.

    The Russian embassy said that with these allegations, the United States is trying to shift the responsibility for the internal political destabilisation onto foreign actors.

    "Blaming external actors for destabilisation of the situation inside the country - such attitude of the [US] administration is unlikely to correspond to equal and mutually respectful expert dialogue we have proposed to find solutions to the most urgent issues," the embassy said.

    "Washington's actions do not contribute to the normalisation of bilateral relations," it added.

    Following the events, CNN reported that the Biden administration is going to announce sanctions against Russia in the coming week. Apart from Russia, the reported sanctions would also target China and Iran, which were also mentioned in the NIC report. Tehran was accused of carrying out a "multi-pronged covert influence campaign intended to undercut former President Trump’s reelection prospects". As for Beijing, the report said China "did not deploy interference efforts and considered but did not deploy influence efforts intended to outcome of the US Presidential election."

    Russian officials have repeatedly denied US accusations of election meddling as absurd attempts to demonise Russia and divert attention from actual cases of fraud and political corruption.

    Similar allegations were made as part of the so-called Russiagate - the alleged conspiracy between US President Trump and Russian officials, which prompted a two-year probe into the allegations. However, the final report of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated there was no evidence that collusion between Trump and Russia took place during the 2016 presidential campaign.
    Tags:
    Joe Biden, Donald Trump, US, Russia
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