World
Putin proposes election non-interference pact with US
Published : Sep 25, 2020 - 21:44
Updated : Sep 28, 2020 - 09:13
Russian President Vladimir Putin (AP-Yonhap)

MOSCOW (AFP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed Friday concluding a pact with the United States against interfering in one another's elections, just weeks before the US heads to the polls.

Western countries have for years accused Russia of using hackers and internet trolls to sway the outcome of elections, and US intelligence officials have said that it is once again manipulating social media in favour of Donald Trump as it did in 2016.

In a Kremlin statement, Putin called for the two countries to "exchange guarantees of non-interference in each others' domestic affairs including elections, including with the use of information and communication technologies".

He also called for a global pact agreeing not to use such methods to deal "the first blow" in conflicts.

In addition to interfering in US politics, a hacking group believed linked to Russian intelligence services was accused by British officials of trying to steal information on coronavirus vaccines.

The British government this year also accused "Russian actors" of seeking to disrupt the 2019 general election by circulating leaked trade documents between London and Washington.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed in May that Russia had targeted her in hacking attacks, saying she had concrete proof of the "outrageous" spying attempts.

The Kremlin has denied allegations of election meddling and interference and instead accused the Western leaders of waging a disinformation campaign against Russia. (AFP)
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