U.S. starts looking into money transfers funding Russian embassy in Washington DC
The FBI and the U.S. Congress are looking into money transfers funding the Russian embassy in Washington DC, the embassy said, describing the inquiry as "a new American norm."
The BuzzFeed information portal said citing the FBI that an inquiry had been launched into suspicious money transfers of the Russian Foreign Ministry to Russian embassies worldwide, "from Afghanistan to Nigeria," "for the election purposes". It mentioned Citibank providing bank services to the Russian embassy to the United States.
"We are absolutely not surprised that the U.S. mainstream universe sees the undermining of fundamentals of the local democracy as the sole purpose of Russia and the Russian embassy in Washington. Now BuzzFeed, together with the FBI and the Congress, is investigating the transfer of money, which funds the embassy's existence and operation in strict compliance with the Vienna Convention. In fact, they are investigating the embassy's activity with the assistance of Citibank. This is a new American norm," the embassy said in a commentary seen by Interfax.
"We will have to disappoint the investigators," the embassy said.
"We have elected the State Duma and the Russian president before, and we will hold these elections again. We will do so consistent with our constitution. In particular, amongst Russian citizens staying abroad. All over the world. Including the United States," the embassy said, adding that if the election required additional funds, it would receive the money legally from Moscow, via Citibank or another financial institution.
"We are even grateful to BuzzFeed journalists for uncovering another outrageous breach of the elementary norms of communication between the local authorities and foreign diplomatic missions. The attempt to artificially engage Russia and its embassy in the domestic American squabble has shamefully failed," the embassy said.
"The subject of 'Russian interference' in the U.S. presidential election is close to the obvious marginalization," the embassy said. "Not just by the U.S. media space but also by those conducting numerous inquiries. They are sweeping up the last 'crumbs' of information and are scraping 'unmarketable goods' off the bottom," it said.