Russian soldiers Crimea
In March 2014, Russian soldiers without identifying insignia seized control of military bases in CrimeaGetty Images

The US House of Representatives has backed a proposal to set up a high-level panel to counter Russian political interference globally.

The Republican-led chamber passed the legislation on 30 November as part of a larger intelligence bill in a move that could place the house at odds with the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who has called for closer cooperation with Russia.

IBTimes UK has uncovered that a State Department campaign to counter Russian disinformation was scrapped in September 2015, ahead of the US presidential election campaign.

During the presidential election campaign Russia was accused of leaking hacked information to discredit Trump's rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, and spreading "fake news" and propaganda to boost Trump's candidacy.

The bill calls for a new, interagency panel to confront Russian efforts to "exert covert influence over peoples and governments".

The panel would be tasked with "countering active measures by Russia to exert covert influence, including exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism and assassinations carried out by [Russian] security services or political elites".

The US senate is expected to vote on a similar measure by the end of December.

In Europe, Russia has been accused of committing cyberattacks, spreading disinformation and backing far-right parties in an effort to undermine the EU and Nato, and governments deemed hostile to Russian interests.

The European Council last week called for the EU and member states to increase measures to counter Russian disinformation and propaganda campaigns, in a move condemned by Russian President Vladimir Putin as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech.