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Russia accuses US of interfering in India’s internal affairs, trying to ‘complicate’ Lok Sabha elections

Moscow, May 9: Targeting the US for interfering in India’s internal affairs, Russia has said that Washington is trying to “complicate” the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, including by making “regular unfounded accusations” on threats to religious freedom in the country.

Reacting strongly to the recent report released by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Washington not only “groundlessly” accuses India, but also many other states.

“Regular unfounded accusations by the United States against New Delhi – we see that they groundlessly accuse not only India, but also many other states – of violating religious freedoms are a reflection of the United States’ misunderstanding of the national mentality, the historical context of the development of the Indian state and disrespect for India as a state,” Zakharova told mediapersons in Moscow on Wednesday.

“I am sure that this also comes from the neocolonial mentality, the mentality of the colonial period, the period of the slave trade, and imperialism… This does not only apply to India. The reason is the desire to unbalance the internal political situation in India in order to complicate the general parliamentary elections taking place in the country. Of course, this is part of interference in India’s internal affairs,” added the Russian MFA spokesperson.

During the regular media briefing, Zakharova was also asked about a report published in a US newspaper that accused an Indian official of a “foiled assassination” plot on foreign soil.

“According to the information we have, Washington has not yet provided any reliable evidence of the involvement of Indian citizens in the preparation of the murder of a certain G.S. Pannun. Speculation on this topic in the absence of evidence is unacceptable,” stated Zakharova.

Last week, India slammed the USCIRF report, saying that the agency’s efforts to interfere in India’s ongoing elections will never succeed.

“They have been releasing their reports earlier as well, in earlier years. The USCIRF is known as a biased organization with a political agenda. They continue to publish their propaganda on India masquerading as part of an annual report. We really have no expectation that USCIRF will even seek to understand India’s diverse, pluralistic and democratic ethos. Their efforts to interfere in the largest electoral exercise of the world will never succeed,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told reporters in New Delhi.

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