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Russian Lawmaker Says London Preparing for New Attempts to Discredit Sputnik, RT

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The UK authorities are preparing for new attempts to confront and discredit the Sputnik news agency and RT broadcaster, which is shown by documents released by the Anonymous hacktivist group, a member of the Russian parliament's upper house's defence committee, Frants Klintsevich, told Sputnik on Saturday.

"It is obvious that this work was carried out by London in order to build a new concept of information confrontation and to discredit the Russian media, including RT and Sputnik … Viewers and readers in the West no longer want to live in the Russophobia and cold war paradigm set by their government. We know for a long time that if they want to get an objective picture and unbiased information of what is happening, they will choose RT and Sputnik", Klintsevich said.

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In turn, Leonid Levin, the Russian lower house's information policy committee chair, told Sputnik that the UK government's "interest" in RT and Sputnik was due to their proven competitive abilities.

"The interest of the UK government in the activities of RT and Sputnik is clear and is due to the fact that these media successfully compete in the global information space, and especially in the Middle East, with the largest Western media holdings", Levin said.

READ MORE: 'Appalling': Russian Embassy Says UK Ducking Responsibility For Syrian Crisis

He stressed that RT and Sputnik were the only serious alternative to a uniform Western media agenda.

"The willingness to cover sensitive topics concealed by other media, and a balanced approach to delivering diverse information determined the attitude toward RT and Sputnik as toward the only serious alternative to a uniform agenda of the Western media," Levin said.

Late on Friday, the group published documents and invoices, which it claims are the evidence showing that the UK state-funded Integrity Initiative project carries out analysis of the activities of the UK opposition Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as of Sputnik and RT, with the use of UK taxpayers’ money.

The situation around Russian media in the West has become increasingly difficult in recent years. In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution to counter alleged Russian anti-EU propaganda.

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According to the document, media such as Sputnik and RT pose a danger to European unity, and thus extra European Commission funding is needed for counter-propaganda projects. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the resolution proved that Western democracy was failing, but expressed hope that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without restrictions.

A number of Western politicians, including those in the United Kingdom, the United States and France, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in elections and spreading propaganda, without providing any evidence.

READ MORE: 'Gift Happens': RT Reveals 'Russia's Meddling' in White House Christmas (VIDEO)

In September, UK Prime Minister Theresa May even warned members of parliament against appearing on RT, arguing that they allegedly risk being used as a "tool of propaganda for the Russian state." Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that Moscow does not meddle in other countries' affairs and pointed out that the allegations of Russia tampering with votes in other countries had been unsubstantiated.

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