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    French National Assembly member Nicolas Dhuicq

    French MP Slams Reports Alleging Russia Spied on Paris via Facebook

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    Recent reports alleging Russia used Facebook to spy on French President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign are an example of information warfare used by the United States to fuel anti-Russian sentiment and maintain sanctions against Russia, French politician and a member of The Republicans (LR) party Nicolas Dhuicq told Sputnik Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Reuters reported, citing a US congressman and two other sources, that Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on Macron's election campaign earlier this year by creating fake Facebook personas.

    "This article is part of the larger game aimed at attacking the Russian government. In this situation I would rather be suspicious of these articles. It is a way of maintaining disastrous sanctions against Russia… Those sanctions, in fact, [are] profitable to one player only, and it is America. America has a very low rate of commercial exchanges with Russia, compared to Europe," Dhuicq said.

    The French politician was referring to the latest sanctions package approved by the US Senate on Thursday, which now awaits either approval or veto of US President Donald Trump. The new sanctions target, among others, companies that invest in Russian energy projects, which raised concerns in the European Union.

    Dhuicq added that the article on Russia's alleged espionage via Facebook was part of the US information war, an effort to promote "an image of bad Russian guys."

    The French politician stressed that establishing who does the hacking can be complicated as hacking is done by private hacker groups for their own gains and should not be unconditionally linked to a state or a government.

    "You never know for sure who is hacking and by which means. It is very easy to launch operations that link attacks to a country or a company and to use them as a shield. Every big French company is, in fact, attacked by the French hackers but we cannot say that the Chinese government is behind [this[," Dhuicq said.

    The US Congress is currently investigating Russia's alleged meddling in last year's US presidential election aimed at helping then-Republican nominee Trump to win. Russia has also faced numerous allegations of its potential interference in elections in European countries, including France and Germany.

    In February, Richard Ferrand, the general secretary of La Republique En Marche! party founded by Macron, said that there had been "thousands of attacks," originating from Russia, on the party's IT systems, data bases and websites. However, no substantiating evidence was provided.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that there was no proof that Russia was meddling in the election processes of the other countries, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that Moscow has never interfered in foreign states' internal affairs and is not intending to do so in the future.


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