"I have heard these rumours. The Secretariat-General for National Defense and Security is currently investigating them. We will see what the results of this investigation will be. I won't give my judgment on anything unless the facts are established," the foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the RTL broadcaster.
The minister's statement follows the Times newspaper Saturday reports, citing an analysis carried out by New Knowledge, a cybersecurity company, that hundreds of allegedly Russia-linked Twitter accounts were presumably fueling the yellow vest rallies by posting pictures of injured protesters and retweeting posts connected to the unrest.
The Russian side is yet to comment on the publication and the launched probe. This is not the first time Moscow is accused of interfering in internal affairs of other countries. Reacting to such allegations in the past, Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in a foreign country's affairs, demanding the actual proof in each case. However, none of these claims has been substantiated.
At the same time, earlier in the day French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called on US President Donald Trump not to interfere in France's affairs. This statement was a reacting to Saturday's tweet by Trump, assuming that the political crisis in France could be resolved by revising the participation in the Paris agreement and thus giving money now allocated to reducing harmful emissions back to the people.
The mentioned mass protests have been raging in France since mid-November when the so-called yellow vest protesters — named after the obligatory attribute of French drivers — took to the streets to rally against rising fuel prices and a planned hike in tax on diesel and carbon fuels.
The rallies intensified earlier this week, with over 1,700 detained on Saturday alone.