February 19, 2018
The Kremlin has commented on the US Justice Department’s court documents revealed on Friday claiming that the Internet Research Agency (IRA), which is based in St. Petersburg, was allegedly involved in the 2016 US elections by trying to influence the outcome in President Donald Trump’s favor.
“We still have not seen any substantive evidence there that someone had interfered in [US] internal affairs … It [the accusations] is about Russian citizens, but we have heard earlier from Washington that the Russian state, the Kremlin and the Russian government were involved. Nothing indicates that the Russian state could have been involved in this, and nothing can,” Peskov told reporters.
The spokesman reiterated that all allegations of Russia’s interference in the US election were groundless.
“We still insist that we consider such evidence to be groundless. We do not consider it exhaustive, we do not consider it fair and cannot agree with it … Russia did not interfere, it has not had such a custom to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and is not doing so now,” Peskov said.
The statement was made in the wake of Friday’s decision by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office to charge 13 Russian nationals and three entities of allegedly trying to meddle in the 2016 presidential vote in the US. The 37-page indictment accused the mentioned Russians of use of fake personas in an attempt to prop up Donald Trump’s candidacy during the election. The indictment, however, does not appear to make any mention of the Russian government.
Commenting on the release of the indictment, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has blasted the accusations, calling them “absurd.”
Speaking about the US DOJ’s move, US President Trump stated that what he called Moscow’s “anti-US campaign” hadn’t impacted the results of the presidential election.
Prior to Friday’s US move, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has repeatedly called all allegations concerning Moscow’s alleged meddling in the US’ internal affairs, especially in the 2016 presidential election groundless. The same position has been voiced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who has stressed numerous times that no evidence had been found to substantiate the allegations.
“If I understand correctly, this is a list of 13 persons who are accused of actions to meddle in the interior affairs of the United States, but I did not see concrete facts, dates, and other information that could be correlated with something resembling facts. So, it turns out that the charges have been brought, but no evidence has been provided,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.
After the United States accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, Mueller’s team started investigating allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Trump and top Russian officials have repeatedly refuted the allegations.
This article was posted: Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:53 am