The Russian foreign ministry accused the United States of “direct interference” in the country’s upcoming election after the State Department criticized the barring of President Vladimir Putin’s chief rival from running against him, a report on Wednesday said.
“This State Department statement, which I’m sure will be repeated, is a direct interference in our electoral process and internal affairs,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote Tuesday on Facebook, according to Business Insider.
The State Department lashed out at the Kremlin after an election commission stopped Alexei Navalny from mounting a challenge against Putin in the March 18 presidential election, expressing concern over the “ongoing crackdown against independent voices, from journalists to civil society activists and opposition politicians.”
The statement said the Russian government is failing to protect “fundamental freedoms.”
Read more at the New York Post.