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Russia blames U.S. tech giants for interference in election

by Reuters
Friday, 10 September 2021 16:59 GMT

(Adds foreign ministry statement, details)

MOSCOW, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday it had summoned U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan to meet Russian Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov over alleged interference in the September parliamentary election.

Russia has "undeniable proof" that tech giants, based in the United States, violated Russian laws ahead of the coming election, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It did not specify what companies and violations it referred to.

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

The U.S. Embassy in Russia and the State Department did not immediately reply for a request for comments.

Russia said earlier this month that it may treat as election meddling refusals by Apple and Google to remove Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's app from their online stores.

Navalny and his allies promote a tactical voting plan, which requires followers to support candidates who are judged to have the best chance of defeating the ruling United Russia party in local elections campaigns.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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