MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. Washington considers the upcoming presidential election to be Russia’s internal affair and has no plans to interfere, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Moscow Anthony Godfrey told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Wednesday.
Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Temporary Commission on defending state sovereignty Andrei Klimov said earlier that "Washington has been either naming the ‘right’ candidates or calling for a vote boycott" ahead of the presidential election.
"Ambassador Huntsman was in Washington a short while ago, he met with many congressmen and senators," Godfrey said. "He mentioned that elections were going to take place both in Russia and the United States this year, and he said directly that there should be no interference in either Russia or the US. I can assure you once again that the United States is not meddling in the Russian election in any way," the US diplomat added.
He expressed hope that the election process in Russia would be open.
The Russian presidential election will take place on March 18. The nomination process concluded on January 12. A total of 17 people are currently participating in the election campaign. Two contenders nominated by parliamentary parties - leader of the of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Communist Party’s candidate Pavel Grudinin - have already been registered by the Central Election Commission. Two independent contenders - incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin and Kostroma regional parliament member Vladimir Mikhailov - as well as candidates nominated by 13 non-parliamentary parties, are currently collecting voter signatures necessary for their registration, while the CEC is considering documents submitted by another four candidates representing political parties.