Kremlin Expresses Regret for ‘Russophobia’ in Presidential Debate

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on the transport system development via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Russia laments the rise of so-called “Russiaphobia” in the current U.S. presidential election, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced Friday, in response to questions about Moscow in Thursday’s presidential debate.

Speaking to journalists hours after Thursday night’s presidential debate between Trump and Biden, Peskov said that “competition in Russophobia has become a constant in all US electoral processes.”

“We are fully aware of this and can only express regret,” Peskov added.

Peskov also revealed that although Kremlin officials did not watch the debate, they were well aware of its content, having read reports online.

“After all, probably, it is the American electorate who is the target audience of these debates, that is, common Americans. It is up to them to decide who won the debate, not us,” he said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained that Americans were increasingly losing access to Russian propaganda outlets, claiming that American social media outlets were using “censorship” to silence Russian government commentary.

“One of the dangers in this sphere is the monopolization of the online space and domination of only Western and US in particular corporations as well as lack of transparency and universally accepted rules,” she explained.

“We are witnessing this in our work daily and also see open censorship from Twitter and Facebook for example when Russian media outlets without investigation or trial are tagged as allegedly unreliable and when they are deleted from searches and blocked and their accounts are deleted,” she continued.

During the debate between the two candidates, Biden suggested without any evidence that the recent emergence of a laptop containing potentially incriminating emails belonging to his son Hunter was a form of Russian interference in the election.

Some of the emails suggest that Biden was allegedly involved or privy to his son’s foreign business dealings, which included taking money from sources in Russia.

“What he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant,” Biden said. “What he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani.”

“You mean the laptop is now another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?” Trump responded, in reference to the investigation that ultimately cleared him of any collusion with Moscow during the 2016 presidential election.

Biden went on to suggest that Russia is trying to interfere on behalf of the Trump campaign through contact with his attorney, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Biden went on to call Giuliani a “Russian pawn.”

Trump responded by pointing out the sanctions he has imposed on Moscow since coming to office as evidence that he is conscious of the threat posed by the Putin regime.

He said:

There has been nobody tougher to Russia between the sanctions, nobody tougher than me on Russia, between the sanctions, between all of what I’ve done with NATO. I’ve got the NATO countries to put up an extra $130 billion going to $420 billion a year. That’s to guard against Russia. I sold, while he was selling pillows and sheets, I sold tank busters to Ukraine. There has been nobody tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.

Thursday was the second and final debate between the two candidates ahead of next month’s election. Other topics discussed included the administration’s handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, the economy, the environment, racism, and social justice, and other questions of foreign policy including North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

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