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Russia’s foreign ministry announced it summoned the United States ambassador to the country due to supposed election interference before the parliamentary elections late September.
The Russian government claims “undeniable proof” that U.S.-based tech giants violated Russian laws ahead of the coming elections for the lower house State Duma, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday, without specifying what companies and to what violations it referred.
The ministry stated that ambassador John Sullivan sustained a meeting with Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister.
“In this regard it was stated that interference in the internal affairs of our country was absolutely unacceptable,” the statement said.
Russia in recent months has increased control of its portion of the internet, taking legal action against foreign tech companies for not deleting content banned by national authorities.
Neither the US embassy in Russia nor the State Department provided immediate comment.
#US ambassador in #Moscow John Sullivan summoned to @mfa_russia over alleged ���� attempts to interfere in #Russia's Duma elections (due Sept 19). Deputy FM Ryabkov reportedly informed Sullivan that ���� has "hard evidence" of US 'big tech' companies breaching ���� election laws pic.twitter.com/KK3aprmQKa
Earlier in September, Russia said it would treat as election meddling refusals by Apple and Google to remove Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny’s app from their online stores.
Navalny and allies continue to promote a tactical voting plan, which urges followers to support candidates who are deemed to have the best chance of defeating the ruling United Russia party in local election campaigns.
Amid rising tensions, Russia officially designated the U.S. an “unfriendly” state, preventing its embassy from employing Russian nationals.