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Global Affairs

Russia covertly spent €300 million to try influence world politics, US State Department claims

US secretary of state Antony Blinken cited a new intelligence assessment.

RUSSIA HAS COVERTLY spent more than €300 million since 2014 to try to influence politicians and other officials in more than two dozen countries, the US State Department has claimed. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who signed a new diplomatic cable, cited an intelligence assessment of Russia’s covert global efforts to support policies and parties sympathetic to Moscow.

The cable does not name specific Russian targets but says the US is providing classified information to individual countries.

It is the latest effort by the Biden administration to declassify intelligence about Moscow’s military and political aims, dating back to ultimately correct assessments that Russia would launch a new war against Ukraine.

Many of President Joe Biden’s leading national security officials have extensive experience countering Moscow and served in government when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a wide-ranging campaign to influence the 2016 and 2020 US presidential elections.

A senior administration official declined to say how much money Russia is believed to have spent in Ukraine, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his deputies have long accused Putin of meddling in domestic politics.

The source rejected comparisons between Russia’s activities and US financing of media and political initiatives around the world, saying Putin was spending huge sums to “manipulate democracies from the inside”.

The State Department took the unusual step of releasing a diplomatic cable that was sent yesterday to many US embassies and consulates abroad, many of them in Europe, Africa and South Asia, laying out the concerns.

The cable, which was marked “sensitive” and not intended for foreign audiences but was not classified, contained a series of talking points that US diplomats were instructed to raise with their host governments regarding alleged Russian interference.

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