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Lavrov says EU countries’ leaders openly interfered in US election campaign

Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Theresa May and the leaders of other European states very actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton, according to Russia's top diplomat

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The leaders of countries which are on the list of US allies openly intervened in the US presidential election campaign, while all charges Russia was doing the same are calumnious, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference following a meeting with his visiting Austrian counterpart, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Sebastian Kurz in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Groundless, unfounded and, I should say, calumnious accusations keep surfacing," he said. "What makes the whole situation particularly cynical is we are being accused by those who had intervened in the election campaign in the most active way."

"In contrast to Russia a number of leaders of countries which are US allies were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Very active in that respect were Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Theresa May and the leaders of other European states.

"European countries’ officials went as far as demonizing Donald Trump," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said Russia had invariably expressed its readiness to work together with any US president the American people might vote for and it was a matter of principle for it to stay aloof from the conflicts between the incumbent and future administrations.

"But some verbal attacks by Barack Obama’s teams against the president-elect begin to look hypocritical," Lavrov said.

"Just a couple of days ago, when Trump in an interview on January 15 expressed his attitude to Germany’s migration policies, my current counterpart. John Kerry, said it was not ethical and an intervention into Germany’s internal affairs," Lavrov said. "Mind you, such things are being said by people who not only tried to lecture other countries, including Europe (for instance Obama personally came out against Brexit), but also intervene in other countries’ affairs in far less harmless ways, such as the use of military force with the aim of replacing governments."