Russia has covertly sent at least $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates in more than two dozen countries since 2014 to gain influence, a declassified US intelligence assessment said Tuesday.
US intelligence “assesses that these are minimum figures and that Russia likely has transferred additional funds covertly in cases that have gone undetected,” a senior administration official said.
The US intelligence did not declassify information on specific countries.
But in one of the most egregious cases cited, the assessment said that the Russian ambassador in an unnamed Asian country provided millions of dollars to a presidential candidate.
President Joe Biden’s administration requested the assessment following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which prompted a major US effort to isolate Moscow and arm Kyiv.
The administration official said that US diplomats were sharing their findings with governments in more than 100 nations.
The official described the effort as part of Biden’s “Summit of Democracies” initiative launched after he defeated former US President Donald Trump.
The new assessment did not cover domestic US politics but previously US intelligence said that Moscow intervened in the 2016 US election, notably through manipulation of social media, to support Trump, who has voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The United States is working hard to address our vulnerabilities and we are encouraging other countries to do the same and to join us in this important effort,” the official said.
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