MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Foreign pressure on Russia mounts as presidential elections in the country draw closer, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday.
Speaking about pressure being exerted on Russian business, the Kremlin spokesman said that the Reuters news agency has asked him a question using the same wording.
"Probably, in many aspects this demonstrates that such talk circulates behind the scenes overseas, in some Western capitals, and first signs of possible discomfort and, probably, of unfair competition against our business are already visible," Peskov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"This is a kind of continuing pressure on our country, which has the tendency to mount as presidential elections approach," he added.
Peskov said he had no answer to a question whether the situation surrounding Russian senator Suleiman Kerimov in France was an example of pressure on Russian businesses.
"It’s hard to say, the investigation there continues, and certain accusations are being voiced," he said. "No doubt, the state defends and will continue to defend the interests of Kerimov as our citizen and as a senator, and this is very important."
"We hope that as a result he will succeed in defending his interests in France," the Kremlin spokesman added.
Federation Council member Suleiman Kerimov was arrested by French police at Nice’s airport overnight into November 21. On the following day, he was charged under the article "Money laundering and tax evasion." On December 6, the Aix-en-Provence court of appeals ruled that Kerimov will not be placed into custody and will stay free on his own recognizance, but court control will be tightened and the bail will be increased from 5 mln to 40 mln euros.