10:16 GMT29 November 2020
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    An ally of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron accused Sputnik and RT of disseminating misinformation but cited an irrelevant news article to support his opinion.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The general secretary of En Marche! party headed by French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron launched an unsubstantiated attack against the RT broadcaster and Sputnik news agency over alleged influence on the French "democratic life."

    "Today one must pay attention to facts: two large media outlets, RT and Sputnik, owned by the Russian government, are making up their daily news by spreading, developing fake news. Then this news is used, quoted and influences our democratic life," Richard Ferrand told France 2 channel.

    In order to illustrate his statement, he used a news article entirely unrelated to RT or Sputnik. A blog published information that during his visit to Lebanon, Macron stayed at the French embassy "at the expense of the taxpayers." The politician said that the information was incorrect, but rumors spread anyway.

    He added that there had been "thousands of attacks against our IT systems, data bases, websites" originating in Russia because Macron wants "strong Europe in the face of Russia," while other presidential candidates had a more friendly perspective.

    "It is clear that the far-right and the right-wing and their candidates have a good standing [with Russia]. While we are pushing for a strong, powerful Europe… and certain Russian media are telling us that they do not want that," Ferrand stressed.

    Moscow has been facing numerous accusations over alleged attempts to interfere in the Western elections providing no evidence. In December 2016, reports emerged that the German government feared potential influence on the 2017 parliamentary elections from Russia after the US Central Intelligence Agency had accused Moscow of carrying out cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer systems in an attempt to influence the November US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

    The first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for April 23, while the run-off is slated for May 7.

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    Sputnik, RT, Richard Ferrand, Emmanuel Macron, Russia, France
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