Russia claims it won't try and influence German election

AFP - [email protected] • 14 Jul, 2017 Updated Fri 14 Jul 2017 09:06 CEST
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed speculation on Thursday that Moscow would attempt to meddle in Germany's upcoming general election.


Speaking to a think tank in Berlin, Lavrov said the Russian government was "flattered" that many international intelligence services thought it had the power to influence the fate of democratic governments but repeated Moscow's insistent denial.

President Vladimir Putin told Russian reporters last month that hackers can come from any country and conceded it was theoretically possible that a "patriotically minded" hacker could decide to act against those critical of Russia.

He insisted however that "we never get involved in this on a state level".

Asked about the remarks with regard to Germany's election in September, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term, Lavrov demurred.

"It flatters us that people try to portray us as a country that could decide the fate of the whole world - the United States, Germany," he said.

“If that were the case, all the former Soviet republics around us would not have such a position toward Moscow.

"Maybe there wouldn't have been a Ukrainian crisis or other problems" such as with the self-proclaimed state of Transnistria - a tiny sliver of land that claimed independence from Moldova just after the Soviet Union fell apart about 25 years ago.

Lavrov called the hacking allegations against Russia "a very destructive approach", dismissing them as "leaks and false information".

"For example in America, where during an eight-month investigation they haven't presented a single concrete fact" proving Russian meddling in the election of President Donald Trump.

The White House has been battered by allegations of Russian collusion and accusations of cover-ups.

The scandal took on a new dimension this week when Donald Trump Jr released emails showing his embrace of a Russian offer to provide information about Trump's rival Hillary Clinton during the US election campaign.

The Kremlin insisted it had no links to a lawyer who had been presented as a "Russian government attorney" offering the Trump campaign incriminating material on Clinton.

Germany's domestic security watchdog warned last week that after suspected manipulation of the US and French elections by Moscow, Germany could be next.



AFP 2017/07/14 09:06

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