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A senior Biden administration official said US intelligence found that Russia has spent more than $300 million since 2014 to influence foreign political parties, officials and candidates and create a more favorable world political climate.

The official did not specify which countries were involved, but said the US was sharing relevant intelligence with them.


“We are putting these foreign parties and candidates on notice that if they secretly accept Russian money, we can and we will expose it,” the senior administration official said.

The official said secret payments have been made to at least dozens of countries and there may be more cases that the US is not yet aware of. The payments were made through cash, cryptocurrency, electronic transfers and gifts, the official said, going through foundations, tanks, organized crime groups, consultants, shell companies, Russian state-owned firms and Russian embassy accounts.

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One example given was a Russian oligarch trying to use a pro-Russian European think tank to support right-wing nationalist parties last year. Another example was a Russian ambassador to an Asian country giving millions in cash to a presidential candidate.

According to intelligence, Russia could use more secret money in Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia to weaken sanctions against the Kremlin and exert influence during the war with Ukraine.

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Officials believe Russia plans to spend hundreds of millions more, in addition to the $300 million already spent.

The US believes that other countries can use various methods to reduce the effectiveness of Russia’s efforts. These include sanctions against those who enable them, travel restrictions against well-known actors, exposing those involved and sharing information with other democratic countries.