8 Nov, 2016
Speaking to RT Zakharova said that after receiving an “official ban from State Department” for Russian diplomats to monitor US elections, American officials essentially moved to ‘threats.’ The latest happened just over the weekend, according to the official.
“Indeed in several cases intimidation measures were applied to the Russian diplomats, in particular, to our diplomat in Houston. His car was stopped, the road blocked and then [FBI] started to talk to him in an aggressive way, asking why Russian diplomats are generally interested in [US] elections. Despite in this particular case there was no ground for such a conversation,” Zakharova said.
Earlier the official published a message on her Facebook page, saying Washington applied “direct pressure” on Russian facilities on US soil involving the FBI and other security services.
American “special services conducted several attempts of such threatening,” warning Russian diplomats “not to even think about getting interested in the elections,” Zakharova told RT. In return Moscow has already filed “a respective note to the State Department.”
In late October, the Russian embassy in Washington released a statement, saying US officials had threatened its staff with criminal prosecution if they attempted to monitor presidential and congressional elections at polling stations. The embassy however insisted it has merely voiced an intent to do so and that “it has not submitted any requests” to US authorities. “What is that what the US authorities are hiding and trying to hide at the polling stations, that they do not allow foreign diplomats to even come close to the polls,” Zakharova asked.
The official also noted that “surprisingly” Moscow has been among “top issues which the [US] candidates focused on,” while the American public should think of actual problems inside the country like “politics economy, health system.”
Relations between Moscow and Washington have been particularly strained in the past month over the alleged Russian hacking attacks against US officials and facilities as well as over the Syrian deadlock.
When asked whether the mood in Washington might change after the elections Zakharova stressed that “anti-Russian rhetoric is absolutely a way in nowhere, it is a dead end.”
Lots of what is happening on the international arena “depends on the cooperation between our countries,” the spokeswoman said, noting that “numerous international crises and their solutions proved that.”
Close cooperation between Moscow and Washington alongside other international partners lead to a historic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in 2015 after years of negotiations with Tehran.
“The more stable a dialogue between Moscow and Washington will be, the more stable will be international relations,” Zakharova concluded.