Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov – Photo: REUTERS
Russia is preparing for elections to the State Duma (Russian lower house) scheduled to take place from September 17 to 19.
According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, US Ambassador Sullivan was summoned to this agency on September 10 to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov.
During the meeting, Mr Ryabkov showed “irrefutable evidence” that American technology corporations violated Russian law, interfered in the elections of the State Duma.
Grandfather Ryabkov also expressed his dissatisfaction and said that these are acts of interference in Russia’s internal affairs.
“Interference in Russia’s internal affairs is unacceptable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted him as saying Ryabkov. However, the statement did not specify the violations of US technology corporations.
State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter offered a different picture of the meeting.
AFP news agency quoted Porter as saying Mr Sullivan had met Mr Ryabkov to discuss “bilateral issues” towards building a “stable and predictable” relationship with Moscow.
A representative of the US State Department declined to comment on allegations that US technology companies interfered in the Russian election. This angered Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
“I saw (the US side) mentioned three reasons for their ambassador being summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. We summoned him and there was only one reason: to interfere in the Russian election.” , TASS news agency quoted Ms. Zakharova.
The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry then called on American diplomats to report the above reason to Washington, and described the press release of the US Embassy in Russia as “far from reality”.
US-based technology companies, including Twitter and Google, have recently faced fines in Russia. Moscow accuses these companies of failing to remove banned content and violating Russian user privacy protection requirements.
Earlier this year, the administration of US President Joe Biden accused Russia of meddling in the presidential election and of large-scale cyber attacks in the US. This further strained bilateral relations, which were already at their lowest point since the Cold War.
In response, Moscow accused the West of meddling in its internal affairs and of discriminating against the Russian media.