The Kremlin says it is unhappy with frequent references to Russia and President Vladimir Putin in the U.S. presidential campaign.
"To our regret, we know that the Russian card and mentioning our president have practically become an inseparable part of America's election campaign," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on October 5.
The remark appeared aimed at reminding Russians and the world of Moscow's influence on the international scene and did not address U.S. officials' recent warnings that Russian intelligence agencies might be determined to disrupt or otherwise affect November's U.S. elections, including through computer hacks on voting systems and the Democratic Party.
Peskov said the rhetoric of all participants in the U.S. election campaign is “subject to opportunistic change."
Peskov made the comments after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on October 4 that Russia had broken a deal with the United States over a cease-fire in Syria and that Putin does not respect U.S. leaders.
Later in the day, Trump's running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, said the United States should use military force against Syrian government targets if Russia continues its "barbaric attack" on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
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During the first and only vice presidential debate, Pence repeatedly defended Trump against charges from Democratic candidate Tim Kaine that the real estate mogul idolizes Putin and his strong-arm tactics.
"Donald Trump, again and again, has praised Vladimir Putin, and it's clear that he has business dealings with Russian oligarchs...that he refuses to disclose," Kaine said.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and its military intervention in Syria -- where it has allied itself with President Bashar al-Assad, who Washington and allies have said must go -- have posed serious foreign-policy challenges to the United States.