Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called for a truce between the United States and Russia, asking for both countries to agree not to meddle in this year’s elections.
In a statement, Putin wrote that he proposes “to exchange, in a mutually acceptable format, guarantees of non-intervention into internal affairs of each other, including into electoral processes, inter alia, by means of the ICTs and high-tech methods.”
The suggestion is part of a “comprehensive program” meant to enhance and strengthen the relationship between the two countries, according to the statement.
“These measures are aimed at building up trust between our States, promoting security and prosperity of our peoples,” Putin said in the statement. “They will significantly contribute to ensuring global peace in the information space.”
Despite evidence presented by US intelligence, Russia did not admit to interfering in the 2016 presidential election in the statement released Friday.
“Dialogue like this is obviously hard to take seriously with Russia, China, Iran, or any other party that continues to interfere in our election process,” a senior administration official told Business Insider in an emailed statement.
“According to Microsoft, Russian groups have attacked more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties, and political consultants,” the official continued. “According to the Washington Post, just today Facebook removed additional Russian disinformation networks with ties to Russian national intelligence services.”
While over the last four years, multiple government agencies — including the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, and the Senate Intelligence Committee — have presented reports that support the conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, Trump has repeatedly downplayed Russian attempts to subvert US democracy.
Earlier this year, lawmakers were warned that Russia is trying to meddle in this year’s election.
As Business Insider Tom Porter reported, a report from the CIA has found that Putin is “probably” personally involved in a Russian bid to smear Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to sources who spoke to The Washington Post. The report marked the first time Putin has been identified by US intelligence as being potentially personally involved in the 2020 US election.