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‘Horrible trap’: Diplomat excoriates US talking heads who parrot ‘Russian meddling’ claims

Russia's deputy foreign minister stressed that the accusatory narrative is a mere repetition when no heed is paid to opinions
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. The media’s mindless reiteration of allegations of Russia's purported meddling in US presidential elections carries risks for bilateral relations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said during an online lecture for university students Monday.

"Recently, for lack of any better alternative, a swift globalization of narratives has been occurring. This parroting, or reiteration, regardless of the opinion of a given analyst, specialist or news outlet, is cause for concern. No one needs to understand anything anymore, repetition is merely sufficient," he said, answering a question regarding the continued circulation of reports of the alleged Russian meddling by the US media.

According to Ryabkov, Russia is still unable to reach a consensus with Washington to at least slightly normalize this situation. "Probably, they have made a decision not to deal with this at least until the elections, which jeopardizes relations. Actually, we are going to see if the murky waters re-emerge," the deputy foreign minister pointed out.

The senior diplomat is sure that endless chatter about the meddling issue will rage on. "Meanwhile, it is unclear what the Americans, strictly speaking, expect from Russia and the Russian authorities in this regard. They cannot even formulate what we must do so that they could in response order this imposed issue of interference to vanish from the media pages and TV screens. This is a remarkable degree of self-persuasion," the senior diplomat said, adding that the steps that Moscow took to get out of this dead end simply did not satisfy the Americans.

"Therefore, there is only one conclusion: this will continue and will be used as a tool in the political fight in the US. Unfortunately, the collateral damage is Russian-American relations plunging into this horrible trap, where those who speak in favor of improving ties are bound to be branded a Kremlin agent," Ryabkov said.

US intelligence services point the finger at Russia for ‘meddling’ in the 2016 US election. The alleged attempts at such influence were investigated by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In particular, he looked into the alleged collusion between Russian authorities and then US presidential candidate Donald Trump. In the end, Mueller acknowledged that no collusion had taken place. Trump repeatedly denied suspicions of any wrongful contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign. Moscow also repeatedly denied rumors of attempts to influence the US election.