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Moscow indignant US secret services publish information about Russian transactions

Publication of information about financial transactions is evidence that the immunity of accounts of Russian diplomatic offices in US has been violated, the Russian diplomat said
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Mikhail Tereshenko/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Mikhail Tereshenko/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. Moscow is indignant US special services share with mass media information about Russian banking transactions, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday while commenting on a news item published on the BuzzFeed portal.

"We’ve taken note of the BuzzFeed news item alleging Russia was sponsoring the US election through its Foreign Ministry," Zakharova said. "It is nakedly clear that those behind this stuff were hoping to sell to their audience a distorted picture in order to prolong the myth about a Russian influence on the election campaign in the United States."

"We are extremely indignant US special services disclose to the media information about banking transactions addressed to Russian diplomatic offices, and not only those in the United States, but around the world," she went on to say. "The publication of information about financial transactions testifies to crude violation of bank secrecy and the immunity of the Russian embassy’s bank accounts."

"Also, this graphically shows that US banks operate under the full control of US secret services, which had arranged for this leak," she said. "It is a colossal blow against the image of Citibank."

"We regard such actions, including reports the FBI is investigating transfers to our embassy as another attempt at putting pressure on Russian offices in the United States," Zakharova said. "Once again we demand the US authorities should stop playing such games and get back to normal and responsible diplomatic contacts."

BuzzFeed on Tuesday said the FBI was scrutinizing the Russian Foreign Ministry’s money transfers through the United States’ Citibank bearing a note that said the money was to be used "to finance election campaign of 2016." The article said the Russian Foreign Ministry sent nearly $30,000 to its embassy in Washington. That wire transfer was one of the more than 60 being scrutinized by the FBI and other federal agencies investigating Russia’s alleged involvement in the US election. The transactions, which moved through Citibank accounts and totaled more than $380,000, each came from the Russian Foreign Ministry and most contained a memo line referencing the financing of the 2016 election. The money went to Russian embassies in almost 60 countries from Afghanistan to Nigeria between August 3 and September 20, 2016.

The article also recalled that on September 18, 2016 Russia was holding its own parliamentary elections and its embassies in various countries were opening polling stations for those Russians who on the voting day were outside the country.