Russia today dismissed as “false” a social media expert’s claim that Moscow may interfere in elections in countries such as India through their media and said it will never act against Indian interests. The strong reaction from the Russian Embassy here came after Philip N Howard, an Oxford University social media expert, last week made the claim during a hearing of the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Foreign Influence on Social Media platforms.
The Russian Embassy said the country has never interfered in internal politics of other nations as it goes against the fundamental principles of its foreign policy. “This blatantly false and unfounded assertion is a phoney attempt to drive a wedge between Russia and her BRICS partners following the success of the recent summit meeting of the group in Johannesburg,” the embassy said in a statement.
It is common knowledge that Russia enjoys camaraderie with India and will never do anything that goes against interests and dignity of the “friendly Indian nation”, it said.
Howard’s mention of likely Russian interference in the Indian and Brazilian elections through their media, without any further explanation, had come in response to a question from US Senator Susan Collins after he gave some examples of such an interference in the Hungarian media. The situation could be more dangerous in those countries where the media is not as professional as that of the US, the statutory Professor of Internet Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute and Balliol College had said.