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Russia not involved in US election: Lavrov

Moscow, Oct 12 (Agencies)
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Published on 12 Oct. 2016 11:19 PM IST
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed claims that his country is interfering in the US presidential election as “ridiculous”.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Moscow, Lavrov said it was “flattering” that American officials think Russia is meddling in the election, but the accusations were baseless.
The US last week accused Russia of being behind a series of email hacks, including communications from the Democratic National Committee.
“It’s flattering, of course, to get this kind of attention -- for a regional power, as President Obama called us some time ago,” Lavrov said in the CNN interview.
“Now everybody in the United States is saying that it is Russia which is running the [US] presidential debate,” he said.
“We have not seen a single fact, a single proof.”
READ MORE: US accuses Russia of trying to interfere with 2016 election
Last Friday’s announcement was the first time the US government has publicly blamed another country for hacking with the goal of influencing a US election. Officials told CNN that it followed long deliberations within the Obama administration as to whether and when to take the step.
Democrats have accused Russia of coordinating the release of the emails to benefit Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.
The White House followed up Tuesday by saying it would respond to the alleged Russian cyber attacks in a “proportional” way, without detailing what that retaliation might be.
Asked about this threatened response, Lavrov said: “It’s not worth, I believe, speculating. If they decided to do something, let them do it. But to say that Russia is interfering in the United States’ domestic matters, is ridiculous.”
Russia and US move past Cold War to unpredictable confrontation
Lavrov accused the United States of failing to respond to a proposal “to start professional consultations on cybercrime” that he said was put by the Russian Prosecutor General’s office to the US Department of Justice almost a year ago.
Lavrov was also asked about the furor over a video that emerged last week in which Trump talked about women in lewd terms.
After pointing out that English was not his first language and that he was unsure if he would sound “decent,” Lavrov said: “There are so many pussies around your presidential campaign on both sides that I prefer not to comment.”

 
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