A new parliament will be voted on in Russia next week. The Kremlin accuses the US of interfering in the elections – through an app from the imprisoned opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
Russia has accused the US of interfering in the Russian parliamentary elections in about a week. The app “Smart Vote” of the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexej Navalny is “connected in one way or another with the Pentagon,” said the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Sakharova, on the state broadcaster Radio Rossii.
Using the “smart vote”, Navalny’s supporters are calling on the Russians to vote against the Kremlin United Russia in the elections from September 17th to 19th. The associated homepage has been blocked in Russia for a few days. The authorities have also banned the Internet search engines Google and Yandex from displaying the term “Smart Voting” in search results.
Expert: App should become a topic of national security
Political scientist Tatiana Stanowaja interpreted Sakharova’s statements as an attempt to make the “smart vote” an issue of national security. In the longer term, the Russian authorities could take more extensive action against the calls for protests by Navalny’s team, wrote Stanowaja on Telegram.
Sakharova also referred to a conversation between Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and the US Ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, on Friday. Sullivan has been told that the Russian side has “irrefutable evidence” of violations of the law by US Internet giants in connection with the upcoming Duma election, it said in a statement. From the US side, there was initially no reaction to the allegations.