Andrey Klimov: We observe the West’s active preparations to impact the electoral process in Russia

The senator shared an insight into external threats to Russian sovereignty during the election campaign.

Chair of the Federation Council’s Ad Hoc Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty and Preventing Interference in the Domestic Affairs of the Russian Federation Andrey Klimov held a briefing on external threats to Russian sovereignty during the election campaign and the 2022 nationwide voting day.” The briefing was attended by Central Election Commission member Igor Borisov.

Andrey Klimov said that the Federation Council Commission continued monitoring external forces’ attempts to directly or indirectly use the ongoing campaign ahead of elections to the regional and municipal bodies to destabilise the internal political situation and discredit Russia internationally.

“Currently, we are witnessing preparations on the part of the pro-Western media and social media, including resources controlled by foreign agents, to actively influence the electoral process,” Andrey Klimov stressed.

For example, Golos, a movement recognised as a foreign agent, has published a report entitled “The legal and political specifics of the 11 September 2022 elections.” “This text was obviously made to order, criticising, among other things, the restrictions on the election of persons implicated in the activities of extremist and terrorist organisations.”

Simultaneously, according to the senator, the West is publicly supporting persons, who are known to possess no right to aspire to elected positions in Russia.

Andrey Klimov also reminded his audience that a law on supervising foreign-influenced persons will come into force on 1 December 2022. “This law makes it possible to avoid the uncertainties that occasionally cropped up as candidates for elected positions submitted their documents, uncertainties regarding their possible affiliation with foreign agents.”

“The Russian Ministry of Justice will maintain a consolidated register of these persons. But they will be immune to restrictions envisaged for the foreign agents themselves. Let me remind you that despite the rumours and gossip spread by our opponents, the foreign agent status does not prevent a Russian citizen who has reached a determined age and does not have other nationality or a residence permit issued by a foreign state from running in federal, regional, or municipal elections as a candidate,” he explained.

“Like in the early 1990’s, the enemies of Russia have chosen to encourage separatist sentiments in the multi-ethnic and multi-faith Russia. For this, the theme of the so-called decolonisation of Russia has been planted in the run-up to the next electoral cycle,” he said.

He also noted a number of unfriendly actions undertaken by the OSCE, including a campaign to discredit Russia at international venues.

The senator expressed confidence that the Russian state and public were ready to face new external challenges. “The upcoming election campaign, in full conformity with Russian laws, will enable citizens of the Russian Federation to honourably form regional and municipal government bodies without taking any cues from foreign structures.”

Igor Borisov focused on the specific features of the current election campaign held in a new geopolitical environment. “The collective West is at pains to discredit the elections in the Russian Federation, which this year will take place against the background of an unprecedented information war and a build-up of attempts to destabilise the internal political situation. At the same time, Russia has created the conditions enabling the electoral system to be resilient in the face of outside attacks.”