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Duma speaker blasts ‘absurd’ charges against 13 Russians over US election meddling

February 19, 11:24 UTC+3 BERN (Switzerland)

The US Department of Justice indicted 13 individuals and three organizations in Russia with the alleged interference in the US presidential election in 2016

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© AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

BERN (Switzerland), February 19. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has rejected the ‘absurd’ decision by the US Department of Justice to indict 13 Russians over allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

"This entire discourse about Russia is reminiscent of the world of the absurd and also signals that the US political system is apparently in crisis," Volodin said in an interview with TV presenter Darius Rochebin for Swiss TV channel RTS.

Volodin, who heads the lower house’s delegation, arrived on an official visit to Switzerland on Sunday.

Speaking on the US indictment against the 13 Russians, Volodin said: "The party that lost the election [the Democrats] started accusing the Russian side of this instead of admitting its defeat." This decision by the US authorities may be explained in two ways, he noted: "Either we don’t know what the US side knows about us or we are really that powerful."

On a more serious tone, Volodin said it is doubtful that 13 people could influence the election in the country, which has been building its political system for centuries. "It is protected by laws and traditions - both through the system of representative democracy and the executive branch."

Last week, the US Department of Justice indicted 13 individuals and three organizations in Russia with the alleged interference in the US presidential election in 2016. One of the 13 persons implicated in the charges is businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The list of the three organizations includes the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, which Washington claims has taken part in efforts "to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the US political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

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