Russia has funded political parties abroad to the sum of $300 million since 2014
Russia has quietly sent at least $300 million to political parties and candidates in more than 20 countries since 2014 to exert influence there, according to a US intelligence estimate.
The United States “considers that these are minimum estimates, and that Russia probably and secretly transferred more funds which were not detected,” a senior U.S. official indicated, without specifying the countries concerned.
According to the official, a Russian ambassador stationed in an unspecified Asian country, for example, gave millions of dollars to a presidential candidate.
The U.S. administration had requested the estimate from its services in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. At the same time, Washington launched multiple initiatives to isolate Moscow on the international scene.
The senior official said U.S. diplomacy would share the findings with the governments of more than 100 other countries, building on President Joe Biden's Democracy Summit, hosted virtually in December 2021.
The new assessment did not analyse Russian interference in US politics, but US intelligence had previously said that Moscow interfered in the 2016 US election, including using social media to support Donald Trump, who had expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The United States is working hard to address our weaknesses, and we encourage other countries to do the same and join us in this important effort,” the official said.
©BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE