The Russian foreign minister has commented on the indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was accused of being engaged in a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in the US on behalf of Kiev.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the US should investigate a possible Ukrainian trace in the case of Paul Manafort, former advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, via Ukraine itself.
“They found a Ukrainian trace in Manafort’s case. The Ukrainian trace should be investigated via Ukraine. They [Ukrainian officials] can say a lot about their position toward the candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign.”
Ukraine’s Trace in Manafort’s Charges
The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is currently conducting an investigation into the alleged Russia’s inteference in the US election, said on Monday that Manafort and Gates had been indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts, including, among others, a conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.
Interestingly, the text of the indictment reads that Manafort and Gates had been involved in lobbying members of the US Congress on Ukraine-related issues and states that Tymoshenko “served as Ukraine President prior to Yanukovych.”
However, Tymoshenko has never been a Ukraininan president; she acted as the country’s prime minister in 2005 and in 2007-2010, under President Viktor Yushchenko. She also participated in 2010 presidential election, losing to Yanukovych in the runoff.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, pointed to the error, adding that this inaccuracy helped to better understand how the indictment had been prepared. In his turn, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said that any accusations of President Donald Trump campaign members are a US internal issue and don’t concern Russia.
READ MORE: Russia Has Nothing to Do With Charges Against Trump Campaign Members — Kremlin
The Kremlin has repeatedly called the so-called Russia probe conducted in the US separately by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Congress “absurd” and has strongly denied Moscow’s interference in the country’s internal affairs.
The US president has called the Russia probe a “witch hunt” aimed to justify his former rival’s, Hillary Clinton, loss in the election. Commenting on Manafort’s indictment, Trump has yet again reiterated that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.