Putin says Russia's elections need protection from 'external interference'

  • The Kremlin has suggested that Navalny is a CIA asset who is being used by Western intelligence services to destabilise Russia, and Moscow has repeatedly told the European Union to keep out of its domestic affairs.
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Council for Science and Education via a video conference call at Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia Feb 8, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo(via REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Council for Science and Education via a video conference call at Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia Feb 8, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo(via REUTERS)
Published on Feb 17, 2021 07:15 PM IST
Copy Link
Reuters | , Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Russia needed to ensure that its parliamentary vote scheduled for September is free of foreign meddling following mass protests calling for the release of one of his fiercest critics.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets last month to urge Russia to free Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny ahead of the September election. The 44-year-old opposition politician was detained and later jailed for alleged parole violations upon his return to Russia. He had been treated in Germany for a nerve agent poisoning he sustained in Siberia last August.

The Kremlin has suggested that Navalny is a CIA asset who is being used by Western intelligence services to destabilise Russia, and Moscow has repeatedly told the European Union to keep out of its domestic affairs.

Russia has itself been accused of meddling in several elections abroad, including in the 2016 US presidential vote.

"The citizens of Russia will make their choice (at the parliamentary elections), and we must defend this choice from any attempts of external interference," Putin said at a televised meeting with the leaders of the political parties represented in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

"We cannot allow any blows against Russia's sovereignty, against the right of our people to be the master on their our land," he said, without detailing which countries he was referring to.

Navalny said last year he thought Russia's intelligence services had poisoned him with a nerve agent because authorities saw him as a threat ahead of the parliamentary elections.

The Kremlin has rejected any suggestion that Putin or authorities had anything to do with Navalny's poisoning.

Some European countries have called for sanctions against Moscow over the Navalny case, including halting the construction of the undersea Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, designed to export gas from Russia to Germany by bypassing Ukraine.

Putin accused the countries that have called for sanctions against the project of trying to use Nord Stream 2 as a tool to punish Russia.

"Why is everyone circling around Nord Steam 2?" Putin said.

"They (Western countries) want to force Russia to pay for their geopolitical project in Ukraine," he added, referring to the conflict that erupted in the country's east after Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  •  A traffic officer is dwarfed by the 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. U.S. President Joe Biden met Monday while visiting Japan with families of citizens abducted by North Korea decades ago to show his support for their efforts to win the return of their loved ones.

    Explainer: Why were Japanese abducted by North Korea?

    US President Joe Biden met Monday with families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea decades ago to show his support for their efforts to win the return of their loved ones. Japan says North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens, possibly many more, during the 1970s and 1980s. Twelve remain missing. They include school children and others living along Japan's coast. It has promised a reinvestigation, but has never announced the results.

  • People wait in a line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

    SL Prez inducts 8 more ministers to handle economic crisis: Key points

    Sri Lanka's embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday inducted eight more ministers in his Cabinet to handle the country's financial crisis, its worst since gaining independence from Britain's rule in 1948. The new ministers belong to the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, and its allies--the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Eelam People's Democratic Party. However, the crucial finance portfolio continues to be vacant.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses by videolink the opening plenary session, during the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday.

    At Davos, Zelensky calls for 'maximum' sanctions against Russia

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for “maximum” sanctions against Russia during a virtual speech Monday to corporate executives, government officials and other elites on the first day of the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos. He said sanctions need to go further to stop Russia's aggression, including an oil embargo, blocking all of its banks and cutting off trade with Russia completely. He said that it's a precedent that would work for decades to come.

  • As cases of monkeypox are detected in Europe and North America, some scientists are baffled by the unusual disease's spread in developed nations. 

    Monkeypox virus hasn't mutated, can be contained in non-endemic countries: WHO

    The World Health Organisation on Monday said there was no evidence yet to support that the monkeypox virus had mutated. WHO's emerging diseases lead Maria Van Kerkhove said the outbreaks in non-endemic countries can be contained and human-to-human transmission of the virus stopped. The more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases in the recent outbreak in Europe and North America had not yet been severe, Kerkhove added.

  • Russian service members work on demining the territory of Azovstal steel plant during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, on May 22, 2022. (REUTERS)

    Russian diplomat resigns over Ukraine war: ‘Enough is enough…’

    A Russian diplomat, serving at the country's permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva, said on Monday 'enough is enough,' adding that he is resigning from civil service to protest against Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24. Bondarev was particularly critical of President Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov, who ordered the'special military operation'on Ukrainian soil foreign minister since 2004.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 23, 2022