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Russian Official Says U.S. Funding Of Democracy Groups 'A Problem'

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov
A Russian official says U.S. funding of organizations that promote the spread of democracy in the country is turning into a problem in bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency on April 3 that U.S. government officials have responded to Russia’s concerns.

He said one of the ways in which they have done so is by "providing some specific data on what is being done, when, and how" to support the groups.

But he added that U.S. funding is "reaching a scale that is turning into a problem in our relations."

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who will return to the Kremlin for a third presidential term in May, has repeatedly accused Washington of using its pro-democracy program to finance the protest movement against Putin's continued tenure at the top of the Russian leadership.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP