Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has denied her country was rooting for French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, in an interview published Thursday, saying it was not Moscow’s business.
Grilled by Yahoo Global News on whether Russia supported the right-winger, Maria Zakharova replied, "We do not support candidates for foreign elections. It’s not our business at all."
She echoed a statement made this Monday by President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov who said Russia had never meddled in electoral processes in other countries and would respect whatever choice French voters make when they go to the polls in the presidential runoff on May 7.
Le Pen qualified for the second round after coming out on top alongside centrist Emmanuel Macron in last Sunday’s voting. She said previously she wanted to mend ties with Russia.
Zakharova also rejected allegations levelled at Moscow by US intelligence agencies who claimed the Russian government ran a campaign to undermine last year’s presidential elections in the United States.
On March 30, President Vladimir Putin issued a direct denial of the allegations. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also reiterated Moscow's assertion that the US claims of Russian interference in the election were completely unfounded.