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Russia threatens retaliation if U.S. imposes sanctions over election tampering

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Wednesday that retaliatory measures would be taken against the United States if new economic sanctions are imposed on them over accusations of election tampering.

The sanctions are being proposed by those accepting the U.S. intelligence services' assessment that Russian hackers were responsible for the series of leaks that many say influenced our election, tipping it to Trump's favor.

Zakharova denounced the sanctions as "provocation directed by the White House" and denied the accusations completely, saying, "To be honest, we are tired of lie about the 'Russian hackers', which is being poured down in the United States from the very top."

In a briefing Tuesday, Zakharova elaborated on their position of the alleged cyberattacks:

The biggest accusation is that Russia allegedly launched cyberattacks at the US information space with a view to interfering in US internal affairs, in particular, the election system. Russia is being presented as a monster that is ready to encroach on the holy of the Western holies – its democratic principles. Of course, these allegations have not been supported by any facts. You probably remember that we appealed to the United States to produce evidence of this at our briefings, in the Foreign Ministry’s comments and in statements made by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and interviews he gave. We asked for at least something, even the smallest facts. We did this publicly and during bilateral talks. You can ask our American colleagues how often Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has asked US Secretary of State John Kerry for this evidence. In response, we heard nothing but another helping of nonsense and accusations. It was an orchestrated campaign; nothing was left to chance.
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