Russia has never interfered in US internal affairs and is not planning to do so, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. He added that it is the US that “interferes everywhere” and should expect reciprocal action.
No country would tolerate foreign interference in its internal affairs, Putin said, as he spoke at a meeting with the Russian media. He also said it is “absolutely wrong” that the US “constantly engages[in those sorts of activities] and makes attempts [to influence other countries’ internal political situations], believing that it is normal.”
Concerning Russia’s relations with the US, Putin said that the situation depends on the US side to a significant extent. Moscow “has been long ready for rapprochement” with Washington, he said, adding that the US has to find enough “will, courage and common sense” to understand that improving relations would serve the interests of both sides. “Until then, relations would only deteriorate further,” the president said.
On Wednesday, the US Democrats released a new report, which blamed Putin for personally leading a “20-year” campaign to undermine democracy around the globe through “disinformation, cyberattacks, military invasions, alleged political assassinations, threats to energy security, election interference, and other subversive tactics.”
Despite a lack of significant proof to back up these claims, the accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections remain a hot topic in Washington, contributing largely to the worst deterioration in Russian-American relations since the Cold War. The US has imposed several waves of sanctions on Russia, targeting private individuals, companies and whole sectors of economy.
Some Russian diplomatic properties in America were confiscated, while media outlets RT and Sputnik were forced to register as foreign agents. Russia has always firmly denied the allegations of any interference in the US political process, replying to Washington’s aggressive moves with mirror measures.
In late December, Putin said foreign security agencies are “doing all they can to ramp up their level of activity in Russia,” targeting the country’s social and political life. A month before that, the president warned that “in response to our alleged interference in their election, [the Americans] want to create problems with the presidential vote in Russia.”