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Russia Accuses U.S. of Meddling in Local Elections

Vedyashkin Sergei / Moskva News Agency

The U.S. attempted to influence Russia’s recent elections by routing money to candidates through a Central Asian country, a Russian senator told the RBC business outlet on Friday.

Voters went to the polls in 82 Russian regions, including Moscow, on Sept. 10 to elect governors and municipal deputies.

Andrei Klimov, the head of the Federation Council’s committee on state sovereignty, told RBC that the U.S. and other unnamed foreign states wired money to Russian foundations to support certain gubernatorial candidates.

Klimov did not name the country where the money was suspected of coming from, only specifying that the payments were made “in cash, cash equivalents, and cryptocurrency.”

However, an unnamed source in the committee told RBC that “American dollars” were transferred via Kazakhstan.

Initial reports of the interference came from Russia’s state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring, committee member Oleg Morozov told RBC.

To combat foreign influence, Klimov said, the committee wants to ban candidates from employing dual citizenship campaign staff.

The U.S. is currently conducting three parallel investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections to help elect Donald Trump.

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