Andrei Klimov: Western countries pursue targeted policy to interfere with Russian constitutional process

The senator announced attempts of outside interference in Russian internal affairs leading up to the national vote on amendments to the Constitution.

Andrei Klimov, Chair of the Federation Council’s Interim Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty and Prevention of Interference in the Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, announced there were attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, and that they were recorded by the Commission during preparations for the national vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Andrei Klimov quoted the Commission as saying that Western countries, primarily the US, began taking urgent measures to prevent the strengthening of Russian sovereignty as early as 15 January, when the President of Russia made his Address to the Federal Assembly announcing proposals to amend the current Constitution of Russia.

“The January proposals made by the President immediately came under criticism from the media outlets financially supported by the authorities in a number of Western states.”

“The campaign to intervene in our constitutional development has been unfolding in the West for five months now,” Andrei Klimov said.

He pointed out that protest sentiment inside Russia is definitely being cultivated with material support from overseas. “In addition, the Commission has accumulated a lot of evidence on training events for so-called independent opposition in the Baltic countries.”

“Such events are openly and directly aimed at destabilising Russia, and their masterminds are ready to use any pretext for this purpose. They are fully disregarding the safety, security and living standards of Russians,” the senator stressed.

According to Andrei Klimov, a special role in whipping up protest sentiment is being played by the dissemination of false information, or fake news; foreign masterminds continue to vigorously promote the protest agenda through Russian NGOs.

Andrei Klimov said Western countries and their allies, led by Washington, have been pursuing a purposeful policy of unlawful interference in our domestic constitutional process since mid-January 2020. The main reason Russia's traditional opponents are doing this is their interest in preventing the strengthening of Russia’s sovereignty by any means, compromising its national security and weakening the constitutional foundations for our Fatherland’s stable development and growth of the Russian people’s welfare. One of the targets of these external attacks was the national vote on the amendments to the Constitution – instead of a civilised and democratic procedure where each voter in the country has the right to express their own attitude by direct vote, a variety of illegal actions have been imposed on us. They have used media outlets controlled by the West, social media as well as various NGOs and activists, many of them always in touch with various foreign agencies, to discredit the constitutional amendments proper and the voting procedure as well.

“Summarising the above, the commission has set up a monitoring group that will collect and analyse all the facts available to us about any unlawful acts of interference in Russia’s internal affairs over the period from 25 June to 1 July 2020. The resulting documents will be sent for legal assessment to the relevant authorities of the Russian Federation,” Andrei Klimov said.

According to Klimov, after 1 July, the Russian and international public will be presented with the results of the monitoring group’s work.

“Based on the available evidence, the commission’s Annual Report will contain a separate chapter devoted to outside interference in our sovereign constitutional process. It will include conclusions and proposals, some of them of a legislative nature.”

The senator called for strict observance of Russian law and a responsible attitude towards any attempt to distribute questionable information and, moreover, provocations of public disorder.