Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that while the U.S. electoral system may be “the most archaic” in the world, he will respect the election process.
His comments come amid blistering but unsubstantiated accusations from the Trump campaign and the president himself that the election was rigged or conducted illegally. Mr. Trump has not conceded to presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden, who exceeded the electoral vote threshold of 270 on Saturday.
Speaking to foreign media outlets, Mr. Lavrov said Russia will “respect the right of the American people to decide its own future. Though possibly, their electoral system is the most archaic of all that there exist in countries of at least some importance around the world.”
He told reporters that he addressed the issues of the U.S. electoral system with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who he said acknowledged some problems with the process, according to Russian news outlet TAAS.
In the weeks leading up to the Nov. 3 election, national security officials announced that Russia and Iran had obtained voter registration data of Americans.
Although the information was believed to be public data, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe last month said that it could be used “by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”
While U.S. officials concluded that Moscow successfully meddled in the 2016 presidential election, Russia has staunchly denied accusations of involvement in the previous or current elections.
“It is my strong wish to see the Americans at least feel no worries about our own problems that they point to here and take it easy when it comes to problems of the same sort in other countries. Each country has its own traditions,” Mr. Lavrov said.
“If the Americans are prepared to stick to a tradition that considerably distorts the expression of people’s will, it is their right,” he continued. “If they are happy about everything, and all is correct — though far from everything turns out to be correct — how can we advise them on something? May they sort things out themselves.”
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