Russia says US companies interfering in parliamentary election

Russia says US companies interfering in parliamentary election
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Russia is blaming U.S. tech companies for interfering with its parliamentary election. 

Russia's foreign ministry announced Friday they are calling on U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan to meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov over the claims nine days before the election is set to take place, Reuters reported

"In this regard it was stated that interference in the internal affairs of our country was absolutely unacceptable," the statement from the ministry says.



The country said it has “undeniable proof” that tech companies violated Russia’s laws. Although companies were not named in the Friday statement, Russia threatened to fine Google and Apple early in September, citing election interference. 

State Department deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter said in a briefing with reporters Friday Sullivan did have a meeting with Ryabkov but did not confirm if it was a regular meeting or if he was summoned.  

Porter said the department had no comment on the accusation of election interference.

Russia said the companies were violating election rules by not taking down an app associated with opposition leader Alexey Navalny that encouraged citizens to vote for opposition candidates. 

“Such arrogant and selective behavior and demonstrative ignoring of repeated requests from the relevant Russian agencies regarding the content designated as extremist is particularly unacceptable in the context of the current electoral processes,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at the time.

“It would be legitimate to interpret further connivance of U.S. IT-giants to the publication of the banned materials as an interference in domestic affairs of the Russian state,” she added.

Russia has cracked down on opposition leaders and the media ahead of the Sept. 19 parliamentary election as the United Russia Party looks to maintain power.

Russia's accusation of election interference comes after the U.S., among other countries, have gone after Russia for interfering in their elections. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Updated 2:39 p.m.