Putin warns foreign ‘foes’ aiming to interfere in elections
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 26, 2015 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, flanked by Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, meets with the BRICS countries' Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa senior officials in charge of security matters in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Patrushev, a longtime associate of President Vladimir Putin, told The Associated Press in a written reply to questions that Syrian refugees should be given an opportunity to cast their ballots in the country’s future elections. He argued that the international community should focus on creating conditions for a free vote in Syria. (Sergei Karpukhin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning that opponents in other countries are preparing attempts to interfere in this autumn’s parliamentary elections.

Putin told a meeting Friday of top officials of the Federal Security Service that “foes abroad” are “getting prepared for these elections” and that at any attempts at external intervention “must be upset.”

Putin’s comments echo the Kremlin’s frequent contention that political dissent in Russia is funded and organized by Western forces that seek to undermine the country and force Putin from office.

Russia has pointed to mass protests that drove out leaders in Ukraine and Georgia as examples of purported Western interference.

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