MOSCOW (AFP) - The Kremlin on Monday (Feb 19) insisted there was no indication of Russian government involvement in meddling in US elections after Washington indicted 13 Russians for alleged covert efforts to sway voters.
"There are no indications that the Russian government could be involved in this," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in the Kremlin's first comment since the indictments were filed last Friday.
He said that the indictments "only concern Russian citizens" while Moscow has "heard accusations from Washington about the involvement of the Russian state, the Kremlin and the government."
The indictment alleges that a campaign directed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Putin ally, became focused on hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump swing the vote.
The effort allegedly involved hundreds of people working in shifts and with a budget of millions of dollars. Three companies were also indicted.
Russia "has not seen significant evidence" of interference in US affairs, Peskov said.
"As before, we insist that we consider such evidence groundless, we don't consider it exhaustive or fair at all and we cannot agree with it." Russia "does not have a custom of interfering in other countries' internal affairs and is not doing this now," Peskov reiterated.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday dismissed the indictments as "blabber" and "fantasies," speaking at the Munich Security Conference.