Russia

Russia Says USAID Sought to Sway Elections

Can't have that sort of thing

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Moscow accused the United States on Wednesday of using its aid mission in Russia to meddle in politics and influence elections, a charge likely to push relations between the former Cold War foes to a new low after Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a blunt statement explaining Moscow's decision, announced by Washington on Tuesday, to give the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) until Oct. 1 to cease operations in Russia.

Kremlin critics said the move was intended to cut funding to organisations Putin sees as a threat following his return as president in May after four years as prime minister, and called it part of a crackdown on dissent.