JAKARTA: Moscow on Monday denied any involvement in Indonesia’s upcoming elections after President Joko Widodo claimed his opponents have used “Russian propaganda” to distort facts and spread fake news.
“As we know, the term ‘Russian Propaganda’ was coined in 2016 in the United States during the presidential election. This term has no basis in reality,” the Russian embassy in Jakarta tweeted.
“We underline the principal position of Russia is not to intervene in domestic affairs and electoral processes of foreign countries, including Indonesia, our close friend and important partner.”
Widodo, who is running for a second term, did not elaborate on what he meant by the term “Russian propaganda”, and did not directly accuse Moscow of interfering in the election.
“There’s a campaign team that has been preparing… ‘Russian Propaganda’, which constantly spews… slander, sins and hoaxes,” he said during a campaign event in Surabaya, East Java, on Saturday.
Widodo also did not identify the opponents involved in the alleged campaign.
He will be running against Prabowo Subianto in the election, scheduled for April 17. Both ran for president in 2014.
Russia has been repeatedly accused of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election in a bid to influence the result in favour of Donald Trump.
Moscow has denied the allegations.