US indictment of Russian nationals over US election ‘absurd’: Moscow
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
Islam Times - Russia has flatly dismissed as “absurd” the indictment of 13 Russian nationals by the US Justice Department for allegedly interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.
“Thirteen people interfered in the US elections? Thirteen people against billions budgets of special agencies? Against intelligence and counter-espionage, against the newest technologies? Absurd? – Yes,” wrote Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova in a Facebook post on Friday.
She further said that the indictment manifests the “modern American political reality,” adding jokingly that the number 13 had been chosen intentionally due to its negative associations.
Zakharova’s comments came shortly after US Justice Department's Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the alleged Russian meddling, indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering in the US elections and political processes.
Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said supporting US President Donald Trump had never been an official Russian policy, even if some Russians did express their support for the new American leader.
“It’s a pity that under Donald Trump, for more than a year of his presidency, our relations have not improved compared to the period of the Democratic administration. Even worsened to a certain extent,” Lavrov further said in an interview with Euronews.
In late 2016, Washington alleged that Russia had influenced the US presidential election in November that year to help now-incumbent Trump get elected, an allegation that Russia strongly denied. Back then, the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama threatened that the US would respond to the alleged Russian meddling “at the time and place" of its choosing.
Back in November last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly rejected as "fantasies" claims that Moscow interfered in the 2016 US presidential election in favor of Trump. The Russian leader also in December renewed Russia's rejection of the same accusations, saying the claims were nothing more than “espionage mania.”
There are currently multiple investigations by US security agencies into the case.
Trump himself has repeatedly told Americans that the allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia were not true. In his latest reaction to the allegation, Trump said on Friday that “the results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!”
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