MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/. Brussels has no plans to influence the domestic political processes in Russia in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election, the European Union's Ambassador to Russia Vygaudas Usackas told the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Federation Council (Russia’s upper house) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko did not rule out efforts to influence the political climate in Russia during the presidential election campaign.
"We have neither the intention, nor even the potential levers to somehow influence Russia’s domestic policy," the EU ambassador stressed. "Matviyenko is frightening people that the United States and Europe will allegedly pull off a revolution in Russia. No one will spark a revolution in Russia unless Russia changes itself," he stated.
According to Usackas, the EU has "its hands full with its own troubles." "Second, this is Russia. The citizens of Russia will decide on their future," he emphasized.
"We are not bankrolling the opposition or political parties in Russia. We hope and demand that such an important country and a potential partner, which is committed through its membership in the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the UN, should create equal opportunities for all political parties, even the opposition," the diplomat noted.
The diplomat also stressed that "the EU is not imposing European values and its political system." "But concerning those who want to live in a similar way, we support them and will foster ties [with them]," he pledged.
Russia’s Central Election Commission earlier said that the Russian presidential election will be held on March 18, 2018. The Federation Council should endorse the date this December.