MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. The Bolivian interim government’s allegations of Moscow’s involvement in illegal processes taking place in the country are groundless, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.
The diplomat pointed to the complicated situation in Bolivia ahead of the May 3 presidential and parliamentary elections. "We can see that preparations [for the elections — TASS] have turned into an open — and sometimes behind-the-scenes — struggle between various political forces, which particularly concerns the registration of candidates. Meanwhile, some media say that there was no legal reason behind events that triggered political instability in Bolivia, which followed reports about irregularities and tampering with the election held on October 20, 2019," Zakharova added.
When speaking about allegations concerning Russia, she said: "We read these statements with regret because they are groundless and sometimes even false, as they refer to some Russian mafia allegedly involved in illegal processes in Bolivia." "The Bolivian interim government has failed to provide evidence of illegal actions either by the Russian authorities or any Russian nationals. The Russian embassy has received no requests from the Bolivian authorities, and no information has been obtained through other channels," the Russian diplomat noted.
"If these are deliberate attempts to set us and the Bolivian people against each other, I would like to point out that they will fail," Zakharova emphasized.
Political turbulence in Bolivia
A presidential election was held in Bolivia on October 20, 2019. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales had won the vote. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, refused to recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election had been announced, protests and strikes erupted across the country. Morales eventually stepped down, describing the situation as a coup. The second vice president of Bolivia’s Senate, Jeanine Anez, declared herself interim president.