Moscow has long been used to Washington’s interference in its domestic affairs, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, adding that “there is no doubt” the US will try to meddle in the 2018 presidential election.
“We are used to American interference, we live with it. It’s the same as wire-tapping by US secret services. Someone who doesn’t assume it, is an absolutely naive person living on a different planet,” Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with Chinese and Japanese media.
Answering reporters’ questions, the deputy foreign minister said that “of course there will be interference” from the US in Russia’s 2018 presidential election. “There is no doubt about that.”
Meanwhile, Moscow keeps “hearing accusations” that it attempted to affect last year’s presidential election in the US, not only through alleged hacking, but also through contacts with some US citizens. Evidence to support the allegations has not been presented, Ryabkov pointed out.
Not only the “hackers from Russia are mythical,” but some people who are accused of having “Russian contacts never participated in neither the Democrats’ nor Republicans’ election campaigns,” he said.
Despite the poor condition of relations between Moscow and Washington at the moment, there is still a chance “for certain improvement” under the Trump administration, Ryabkov told the media. Even with current tensions and difficulties, open conflict is unlikely, he said.
“I don’t think such confrontation is possible in the new environment. After all, the experience of the past years and decades, I hope, has taught both us and our colleagues in Washington to responsibly approach such issues.”
The two nations are not involved in “a new cold war” either, the foreign ministry official said. There are also no reasons to believe the 20th century Cold War is still ongoing, as “there is no confrontation of systems or ideologies.”
However, Washington still aims to change Russia’s political course, “by the use of cheap shots among other things,” Ryabkov said, adding that such US policies have led to a worsening in bilateral relations, but the current situation “is not equal to a state which threatens to evolve into a hot war.”