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Moscow: U.S.-Russia Ties Will Be Difficult To Repair

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (file photo)

Russia says it would be "very difficult" to improve relations with the United States, which have plummeted to levels not seen since the Cold War amid crises in Syria and Ukraine, and accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on February 21 accused Washington of trying to meddle in Russia's internal affairs ahead of its presidential election next month after the United States indicted 13 Russians for an alleged covert efforts to interfere in the U.S. polls.

"Paradoxically, the Americans are taking steps towards meddling in our internal affairs and exacerbating tensions in bilateral relations ahead of the presidential election" in Russia on March 18, Ryabkov told the news agency Interfax.

Ryabkov did not provide evidence to support the claim. He also voiced "regret" that Washington is accusing Russia of meddling in the U.S. election "without any foundation or proof."

"It will be very difficult to move relations with the U.S. on from their current state," Ryabkov said.

Several U.S. congressional committees and special prosecutor Robert Mueller are probing allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election and collusion with the campaign of President Donald Trump.

Moscow has long denied any role in election interference.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax