According to Talking Points Memo, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry has used Facebook as a platform to accuse the US of “direct interference in [Russia’s] electoral process.”
Maria Zakharova wrote her social media post on Tuesday after the US Department of State issued a statement condemning the “the Kremlin’s decision to prevent opposition leader Alexey Navalny” from running in Russia’s March 2018 presidential election.
It was on Christmas Day that Navalny learned that he would not be allowed to run against Vladimir Putin because of a four-year-old criminal conviction for embezzlement that is believed to be bogus and described by the European Courts of Human Rights as “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.”
The US Department of State said the exclusion of the “popular activist and attorney” is part of an “ongoing crackdown against independent voices, from journalists to civil society activists and opposition politicians.” “We urge the government of Russia,” read the statement, “to hold genuine elections that are transparent, fair, and free and that guarantee the free expression of the will of the people, consistent with its international human rights obligations.”
Zakharova wrote in response:
“This statement by the U.S. Department of State, which I’m sure will not be the only one, is a direct interference into the electoral process and the state’s domestic affairs.”
She continued that the statement was laughable, not least of all because “these people expressed outrage over alleged Russian ‘interference' in their electoral process for an entire year?! The funniest thing is that these are the same people,” she wrote, “who just tagged RT and Sputnik as foreign agents, who are harassing Russian media around the world and who are investing huge amounts of money into ‘countering Russian propaganda,’ which is how they label anyone who they disagree with.”