03:44 GMT +325 July 2017
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    The Reichstag building, house of German parliament Bundestag in Berlin

    German Intel Service Claims Russia Will Try to Influence Bundestag Elections

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    Germany's counterintelligence service expressed concern in their report presented on Tuesday over alleged attempts of Russia to influence the upcoming Bundestag elections.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The German federal election is set to be held on September 24 and will lead to the election of a new government and a new chancellor, usually the leader of the winning party.

    "First of all, in light of the upcoming 2017 Federal election one must proceed from the fact that the Russian civil services will try hard to influence parties, politicians and public opinion. This topic remains an important point of work of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution," the document reads, without specifying the reasons for these concerns.

    The report does not mention the scandal over German Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly having been wiretapped by US special services.

    Media reports about Russia's alleged interference in foreign elections were spurred on by the 2016 US presidential election. The outgoing administration and the US intelligence community had claimed, albeit without proof, that Russia meddled in the November vote.

    In November 2016, Merkel said she did not rule out the possibility of Russian hackers interfering in Germany's federal elections. In January, German media reported that the BND had suspicions that Russia could try and influence the outcome of the elections taking place across Europe this year.

    However, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stressed during his visit to Moscow in March that Berlin had no proof or indication of Russia trying to meddle in its election process.

    Russia has repeatedly refuted all allegations, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating that there is no proof of the accusations, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying Moscow has never interfered in foreign states' internal affairs and does not intend to do so in the future.

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    elections, Russia, United States, Germany
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