MOSCOW — A top Russian diplomat lashed out at the United States on Saturday, saying claims that Russia is hacking political websites and e-mail accounts in an attempt to influence the American election.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Washington’s accusations are an attempt to heat up anti-Russian sentiment as the US presidential election nears.
Ryabkov said the blunt accusation made Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security is not supported by concrete evidence and ‘‘our enemies are continuing to blame Russia for interference in US domestic matters.’’ The US administration “is not averse to dirty methods,’’ he added.
The attacking allegations were part of a barrage of criticism of Russia unleashed by Washington on Friday. The Obama administration also charged that Russian and Syrian military forces are committing war crimes in Syria by deliberately targeting civilians.
The sharp rhetorical exchanges marked a descent to yet another low point in increasingly poor relations between the former Cold War foes. The United States and Russia appear on a path of one-upsmanship perhaps not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The hacking allegations, which follow cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier this year, came amid pressure on the administration to cite Russia for the attacks.
The White House declined to say whether the formal attribution of blame would trigger sanctions against Russia.