Russian Senator Predicts U.S. Will Interfere in Russia's Presidential Election in 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks in the Galerie des Batailles as he arrives for a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) following their meeting at the Versailles Palace, near Paris, France, May 29. Stephane De Sakutin/Pool/Reuters

The U.S. and its NATO allies are preparing to influence Russia's upcoming presidential election Russian senate's Foreign Affairs Committee chief has said, as the U.S. continues to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the last U.S. election.

Russian lawmakers and officials have begun to cast aspersions over U.S. influence on Russian elections in recent months, as the U.S.' 17 intelligence agencies accused Russian hackers of targeting the Democratic party in last year's vote.

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Parliamentary and presidential votes in Russia over the last 17 years have overwhelmingly favored leader Vladimir Putin, who has been elected for three presidential terms and one prime ministerial term in that time. None of the votes have fulfilled international criteria for free and fair elections. Lawmakers in Russia's lower chamber have recently sought to investigate negative foreign media coverage of Russian elections as interference.

According to Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the U.S. and its NATO allies are likely preparing more acts of meddling come the next presidential election in March 2018, state news agency RIA Novosti reports.

He said the meddling had a "systemic basis" that was "activated during every electoral cycle" but did not give specific details about it.

"There are no doubts that during the time remaining until the presidential elections in Russia in the coming year, we will encounter very active, sequential attempts by the U.S. and its NATO allies to affect the course of the electoral campaign," Kosachev said Tuesday.

He added that senators will look into setting up a permanent commission to deal with suspected foreign interference.

During the St. Petersburg economic forum last week Putin denied allegations that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. election, but instead leveled the same accusation at the U.S. In an interview with NBC over the weekend he said: "Put your finger anywhere on a map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complaints that American officials are interfering in internal electoral processes."