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Russia ready for honest dialogue with US on election interference — top diplomat

According to the Russian foreign minister, Washington has been disregarding Moscow's offers to hold cybersecurity consultations for several years now
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Moscow is ready for honest dialogue with Washington regarding the accusations of interference in the US elections, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday during a press conference on the outcomes of the talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"We are open for honest dialogue [regarding interference in the US elections]. However, for the dialogue to be honest, it is necessary to formulate one’s claims clearly, so that they can be understood," he said.

Lavrov noted that Russia had repeatedly offered the US to discuss "the absolutely baseless accusations" on US election interference. "We offered to relaunch cybersecurity consultations. <…> We offered to make an official bilateral political statement by Russia and the US in which we both categorically undertake not to meddle in each other’s domestic affairs. This has been going on for several years. The Americans continue to slack off in all of these areas, still demanding that we stop the unlawful interference in their domestic affairs," the minister said.

The minister recalled that several years ago, the US approved a law in support of Ukraine, in accordance with which the US Department of State must spend $200 mln a year on direct financing of Russian non-governmental organizations and on working with the Russian civil society. "The US itself does not see anything untoward in promoting its interests via illegitimate means on the sly or even approving laws openly. <…> If it’s not interference in domestic affairs, then I don’t know what it is," he stressed.

The minister also pointed out that in the run-up to the presidential election planned for November 2020, US politicians are often asked about who meddles in their election more: Russia, China or Iran. "According to the estimations of US officials, so far, the People’s Republic of China comes first in this competition. Of course, we regret coming in second. We are used to being number one," Lavrov quipped.