MOSCOW, December 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The comment of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Russian parliamentary election is impermissible, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“The comment of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Russian parliamentary election and similar comments of representatives of the White House and the U.S. Department of State are impermissible,” the ministry said.
“We have to state with regret that Washington sticks to the long gone stereotypes and labels without trying to find out what is really going on in our electoral field,” the ministry said.
“Russian citizens made their choice and took active part in the ballot. Only they have the right to determine the country’s future regardless of anyone’s biased opinions and politicized recipes,” it said.
“We must note that the U.S. electoral system is far from being perfect. It cannot be an etalon of openness and justice, which is proven with the traditionally low turnout in the elections of all levels. The U.S. executive authorities should analyze that and think about ways to change the situation,” the ministry said.
The ministry expressed the hope that the U.S. side would abstain from “unfriendly attacks, which disagree with the general positive vector in the development of the bilateral relations.”
The Clinton comment was also harshly criticized by State Duma deputies and United Russia functionaries.
First Deputy Secretary of the United Russia General Council Presidium Andrei Isayev rebuffed the Clinton comment as totally inappropriate.
“I think that Clinton’s statement is inappropriate; this is a way of political pressure on Russia and an act of interference in our internal affairs. The statement is totally unfounded,” he said.
The statement disagrees with the reset policy, which, by the way, was proclaimed by Mrs. Clinton, Isayev said. “The U.S. bureaucrat should be more careful in her opinions of the Russian domestic policy and recall her own mistakes made in the U.S. election,” he remarked.
U.S. Department of State officers “made the opposite comment only one day ago,” Isayev said. He explained the shift in the U.S. rhetoric with the Monday disturbances in Moscow. “The loud minority” is trying to crash the majority and to push its will, and the statement by Mrs. Clinton encourages this “loud minority” to escalate the illegal actions, Isayev said.
More than 600 foreign observers monitored the State Duma election, he said. “Their final report says nothing about unfair vote,” he added.
Chairman of the fifth State Duma International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov said earlier that the statement by Mrs. Clinton “would not help improve the atmosphere of our relations.”
He also expressed hope that the U.S. authorities “would not draw any practical conclusions from the strange statement by Clinton.”
“We will take notice of this statement, which is far from being the brightest page in the recent history of Russia-U.S. relations and the joint work on the reset; on the contrary, it is one of the darkest pages,” Kosachyov said. “However, negative consequences may be avoided if this statement remains a mere comment.”
“If the U.S. side takes any actions, say, render direct support to those described as ‘democrats’ by Clinton, our reaction will be harsh and consistent,” Kosachyov warned. “Our post-election situation is our situation, and only us, citizens of Russia, may set the voting parameters and evaluate our ballot.”
Clinton strongly criticized the Russian election at the Vilnius meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday.
"Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted," she said. “Russian voters deserve a full investigation of all credible reports of electoral fraud and manipulation, and we hope in particular that the Russian authorities will take action.”
Clinton made similar statements at the international conference on Afghanistan on Monday.