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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday the United States was "crudely" trying to recruit Russian nationals to act as its agents, adding that this showed Washington was meddling in Russian affairs.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked during a conference call to comment on a report in the New York Times which said the F.B.I. and U.S. Justice Department had tried unsuccessfully to recruit Russian aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska as an informer between 2014 and 2016.

"The fact is that the United States in recent years is working crudely using its intelligence services, trying to recruit Russian citizens, exerting moral and other pressure on them.... I think these incidents in the most eloquent manner testify to the attempts to interfere in Russia's internal affairs," Peskov said.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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Reuters