Source AP ©

Russia: U.S. meddling in Russian politics

U.S. was criticized by Russian lawmakers Friday for meddling in their country’ politics ahead of crucial elections and for U.S. State Department report that outlined U.S. aid to Russian non-governmental organizations.

The nonbinding declarations by both houses of parliament followed government criticism of the State Department report and was part of an increasingly vocal response to what Russian political figures say is American interference.

In a statement approved by a 423-0 vote in the State Duma, the lower house expressed "concern with the growing unprecedented attempts by the United States to interfere in the internal political processes in the Russian Federation."

It said an example of "rude interference" was the State Department report released last week, "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006," which described U.S. financial aid to NGOs and independent media, including efforts to help promote free and fair elections.

The Federation Council, parliament's upper chamber, adopted a similar declaration in a 139-0 vote with one abstention.