Russia has accused the United States of attempting to influence its presidential election, Reuters reports, specifically pointing to sanctions that are being imposed because the U.S. believes the Kremlin attempted to influence its elections in 2016. The confusing diplomatic game of I know you are but what am I? comes ahead of the White House's release of new restrictions against Moscow, as approved by Congress last summer, and ahead of Russia's presidential election in March.
"We do think this is a direct and obvious attempt timed to coincide with the elections in order to influence them," argued Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday. He added that "we do not agree with this and are convinced that there will be no influence [on the vote]."
U.S. sanctions are expected against Russian oligarchs as well as "potential restrictions on the holding of Russian government debt," Reuters reports. Trump has dragged his feet on imposing the sanctions — which were approved by a veto-proof majority of Congress — tweeting last November: "When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing."