MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Investigation into the US presidential election is not related to Russia, but Moscow watches it with interest, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
"Any accusations against American citizens as part of domestic US investigations are not related to us, this is the internal case of the US. But we are watching this with interest," Peskov told reporters.
According to Peskov, "it is most important that this does not concern our citizens as we will always defend the interests of our citizens."
The Kremlin hopes that the investigations into the US election campaign will not lead to intensified Russophobic hysteria.
"We are closely following the ongoing investigation in the US, which is its internal affair. Judging by what we read in media reports and saw in the statements made by the participants in the trial, so far, Russia is not mentioned in the charges that have been brought, while other countries and people are mentioned there. Anyway, we would not like to be involved in these processes, and we hope that they will not contribute to efforts to whip up the Russophobic hysteria, which is already sky high," Peskov said.
He expressed the hope that "some kind of wisdom would triumph in due course."
Charges against Paul Manafort
Russia does not feel "vindicated" in light of charges against US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, because it has never considered itself to be guilty, Peskov said.
"Moscow has never felt guilty to feel vindicated now," Peskov said when asked whether Russia felt vindicated after Manafort was accused of cooperating with Ukraine rather than with Russia.
He recalled that Russia "from the very beginning expressed extreme surprise over unsubstantiated accusations concerning its alleged involvement in attempts to meddle in the US election." "We have flatly denied that from the very beginning, and we reject that now," Peskov added.
TASS earlier reported that the charges brought against Manafort by the US Department of Justice on October 30 were linked to Ukraine rather than with Russia. Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates are charged with unregistered lobbying activities in the US from 2008 and 2014 in the interests of the Ukrainian government, the Party of Regions and former President Viktor Yanukovich.