TEHRAN, YJC. -- Russia has accused the United States of interfering in its domestic affairs, saying Washington is getting around Russian restrictions on foreign funding by channeling money to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich made the remarks on Saturday after US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland admitted that the US continues to fund NGOs inside Russia through what she called "platforms outside Russia.”
She also termed recent investigation of NGOs by Moscow as a "witch hunt."
"We consider the statement by the US State Department official representative Victoria Nuland, saying the US is going to continue financing some of Russia’s NGOs through intermediaries in third countries, avoiding the Russian legislature, a blatant interference into our internal affairs,” Lukashevich said in a statement.
The US is engaged in "direct instigating of certain non-governmental and public structures to violate legislation related to the work of non-governmental organizations in the Russian Federation," the statement said.
Russia recently said that any NGO that is involved in politics and receives foreign funding must register as a foreign agent. It also banned such organizations from receiving funding from US citizens.