Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s reply to a media question on the sidelines of the Government Hour in the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Moscow, December 15, 2017
Question: Russia has been accused of interfering in various elections in foreign countries. A presidential race is beginning in Russia. What can we do if our political partners attempt to interfere in our elections?
Sergey Lavrov: They have tried to interfere in our elections many times. President Vladimir Putin has provided numerous examples of the US Embassy doing this, for example, when US diplomats attended the meetings of opposition parties, including those that are not represented in the parliament.
Of course, diplomats need to monitor the situation in the host country and to report their observations to the headquarters, that is, to their capital. But taking part in the host country’s political life by rallying members of the opposition to issue instructions to them, let alone doing what the US Embassy did to lay the groundwork for the state coup in Ukraine, contradicts the Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations.
So, I firmly believe that those whose job is to see that diplomats do not engage in illegal activities are doing their job properly. Anyway, it is not our foreign partners but the Russian people who will make the choice.