August 9, 2019 / 9:11 AM / 3 months ago

Russia accuses U.S. of meddling over publication of protest map

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Friday accused the U.S. Embassy of having meddled in Russia’s internal affairs when it published a map online showing the route of an unauthorised anti-government protest earlier this month.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had summoned a senior U.S. diplomat over what it said was a post on Twitter and the embassy’s website containing a map drawn up by Russia’s opposition ahead of the Aug. 3 rally in Moscow.

Russian police detained over 1,000 people at the protest, the latest in a series of opposition rallies ahead of a Moscow city election next month that have led to the biggest standoff between the authorities and the opposition in years.

The U.S. Embassy warned U.S. nationals in an English-language statement on its website on Aug. 2 to avoid the protest route, noting that the rally had not been sanctioned by Moscow authorities.

The statement contained a map of the planned route as well as details and information about it in Russian.

“We underlined that we consider the publication of the route ... as promoting participation in (the protest) and calling for action, which constitutes interference in the internal affairs of our country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The complaint came a day after Russia accused German media outlet Deutsche Welle of having also called on Russians to take part in recent anti-government protests.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson

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