MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. The United States needs to refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the YouTube channel Soloviev LIVE.
"First, don’t interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. Second, every state has the right to pursue its own domestic and foreign policies. And third, if you do interfere, then what goes around comes around," she said, commenting on US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus’ statement about Washington’s concern with reports of possible irregularities in Russia’s constitutional vote.
Ortagus earlier told TASS that the United States was "troubled by reports of Russian government efforts to manipulate the result of the recent votes on constitutional amendments, including reports of voter coercion, pressure on opponents of the amendments, and restrictions of independent observers of the vote." According to her, Washington is "especially concerned with a provision in the amendments that would potentially allow President Putin to remain in power until 2036."
The Russian diplomat pointed out that the Americans needed to sort out its domestic issues. "It’s high time for them all to brace themselves… and overcome the deepest domestic divisions," Zakharova noted. "Let them live the way they like, only within their borders, in their own country," she went on to say. "But when they start lecturing others - and they do lecture, given their rhetoric of the past ten to fifteen years - then I think that they should focus on their own domestic problems," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman concluded.
The Russian president's decree set July 1 as the official voting day, but Russians were provided with the opportunity to cast their ballots on June 25-30 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. According to the law, the amendments will enter into force if over half of those taking part in the vote support them. There is no minimum voter turnout. With all ballots counted, 77.92% of voters supported the amendments and 21.27% voted "no." Overall turnout was 67.97%.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the Kremlin viewed the vote’s outcome as a triumph. According to experts, no major irregularities took place during the vote, which proved to be transparent. Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairperson Ella Pamfilova pointed out that there were no reports of irregularities that required the CEC’s attention.