Russia and China plan to discuss foreign interference as anti-government protests continue to rock Moscow and Hong Kong and spur accusations of U.S. meddling.
Russian lawmakers said they plan to cut short their summer recess to debate foreign powers’ “meddling in domestic issues” as they blamed Google for allegedly promoting last Saturday’s 50,000-strong protest on YouTube. Beijing has accused Washington of encouraging Hong Kong’s anti-government protests that have roiled the city through two summer months.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Moscow “took seriously” China’s claims that U.S. intelligence agencies and other Western secret services “directly participated and organized unrest” in Hong Kong.
“[C]onsultations with our Chinese colleagues have been planned. I believe we will talk with them soon and discuss this issue,” Maria Zakharova said on Friday without specifying a date.
“I think it would be correct and useful to let the relevant services exchange information,” Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told reporters at a briefing.
Steny Hoyer, the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, expressed support for those who have taken to the streets of Moscow over the past five weekends to protest the exclusion of independent candidates from next month’s local election.
“Congress stands with those in Russia seeking democracy and a government free from rampant corruption,” Hoyer said in a statement Monday, which observers say could fuel more of Moscow’s foreign meddling accusations.
Russia last week said the U.S. Embassy meddled in Russia’s internal affairs after it posted a Russian opposition-drawn map of an unauthorized Aug. 3 rally in Moscow. The Foreign Affairs Ministry has also accused Germany’s Deutsche Welle media outlet of having called on Russians to take part in the opposition protests.