Russia blasts US for barring its diplomats from observing poll

"The US administration's law enforcement officials stop at nothing to cut off Russian representatives from an opportunity to assess the provisions of holding the upcoming elections," Dy Foreign Min.

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Moscow, Nov 8 Moscow on Tuesday blasted the US for curbing Russian diplomats access to polling stations to observe the presidential election, calling the move "unacceptable". But the US embassy in Moscow denied that the diplomats were barred from observing the vote.

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"The US administration's law enforcement officials stop at nothing to cut off Russian representatives from an opportunity to assess the provisions of holding the upcoming elections," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.

His statement comes hours after Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova posted on Facebook that "things went as far as open intimidation of Russian diplomats. The State Department recommended them not to approach the polling stations on their own, and authorities in some states went further and threatened (the diplomats) with criminal prosecution".

Zakharova added that in Houston "an entire special operation was conducted, Hollywood action movie-style, with the blocking of the car belonging to an employee of the Russian general consulate".

"They stopped the car and started to peddle the idea that (the diplomat) should neither look nor think of the (US presidential) vote. (They said) exactly this: why are you thinking about our election?"

In October, the Russian embassy in Washington said that its diplomats in the US were threatened with criminal prosecution if they attempted to monitor the upcoming presidential and congressional elections at polling stations.

Relations with Russia have frequently been in the focus of the US presidential race. Russia was the topic that attracted the most attention during all three presidential debates as well as the vice-presidential one.

IANS

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