Putin slams 'foreign interference' in Russian politics
Russian President Vladimir Putin in his state-of-the-nation address Wednesday warned against foreign interference in the country's domestic affairs.
Putin also targeted local political actors who get money from abroad.
"Direct or indirect interference from outside in our internal political processes is unacceptable," he said.
Someone "who receives money from abroad for his political activity, and in doing so certainly serves other (countries') national interests, cannot be a politician in the Russian Federation", he said.
With this, Putin reiterated concerns over foreign meddling in Russian politics that have been particularly acute since the outbreak of mass public protests last year.
At the time, Putin, then prime minister, made international headlines for claiming the street protests had been funded by the US State Department, a charge Washington has denied.
A current high-profile criminal case against one of the protest leaders involves accusations that he received funding to overthrow the Russian government from a Georgian politician. All the accused have also denied wrongdoing.
Putin asserted that, in politics, Russia has no option but democracy, but emphasised that the country has "its own traditions of popular self-rule", and Russian democracy does not mean "the implementation of standards imposed on us from outside".