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Sergey Lavrov: It’s the West European Leaders Who Tried To Influence the Elections, Not Russia

Jan. 19, 2017 (EIRNS)—During a press conference today in Moscow with Austrian Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz, and Russian Foreign Minister Serbey Lavrov, the following exchange took place:

Question: Of late, Western media have been abuzz with stories about kompromat (compromising materials), leaks, spy scares and planted stories. Russia is mentioned and accused not only of hacking attacks but of almost everything. Could you comment on this?

Sergey Lavrov: Frankly, we have already started to grow weary of discussing the issue of Russian interference in U.S. internal affairs, in particular the election campaign that ended with the election of Donald Trump as president. Because these baseless, unsubstantiated, slanderous accusations continue to surface, I would like to say that the cynicism of the situation is that we are being accused by those who in fact actively interfered in the election campaign themselves.

Russia has repeatedly stated that we are ready to work with any president the American people vote for in accordance with U.S. law... However, unlike us, a number of leaders of U.S. allied countries openly campaigned for Hillary Clinton. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and leaders of other European states were actively involved in that. What’s more, in addition to direct campaigning for Hillary Clinton, official representatives of European countries had no qualms about demonizing Donald Trump. For example, my German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier called him, if I remember correctly, a preacher of hatred. U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson even said that Donald Trump is inadequate, while then-French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated that the Republican candidate was rejected by the entire world. And all of that was said, not in a whisper in a narrow circle, but loudly and to the whole world.

Perhaps it is time to admit that it was not Russia but U.S. allies who grossly interfered in U.S. internal affairs in the election campaign. By the way, many of them are still unable to control themselves and calm down. We do not interfere in these squabbles. We, as a matter of principle, stay out of what is currently going on in the U.S. between the outgoing administration and Donald Trumps team. However, the attacks by representatives of Barack Obama’s team against the president-elect at times simply appear hypocritical. Just a few days ago, on Jan. 15, when, in an interview with The Times and Bild, Donald Trump expressed his opinion on German migration policy, my counterpart John Kerry said that it was unethical and added up to interference in German internal affairs. And this is said by people who tried to preach to other countries, including Europe (for example, Barack Obama personally campaigned against Brexit) not only in word, but who interfere in other countries internal affairs in a way that is far from harmless, with the use of military force aiming for regime change. Therefore this is probably not double but triple standards. We believe that those who make such accusations against us, trying to shift the blame onto someone else’s shoulders, should be blushing at the very least.