Earlier in the day, a correspondence obtained by Sputnik showed that a BBC stringer has admitted that the broadcaster is in the search of any proof of Russia’s alleged role in the "Yellow Vests" protests in Paris, demanding that its journalists seek any leads that would point to Moscow.
Sputnik has obtained the correspondence of the BBC journalist, who wrote a message to one of the stringers covering Yellow Vest demonstrations in Paris, trying to find out whether Russia had something to do with the protests in the French capital. The stringer, in turn, explained that she had not seen any Russians at the protests.
The BBC stringer was not satisfied with such an answer.
"Well, maybe some Russian businesses are capitalizing quite well on it [protests] [smiling emoji]. Maybe, they [protesters] are eating cutlets en masse [smiling emoji]?" the BBC correspondent went on.
The stringer has only laughed in response.
When asked to comment on the matter, the BBC press office has stated, "As the French Foreign Minister had spoken publicly about media reports of a possible Russian influence in the protests, it was perfectly reasonable for our correspondent to raise the subject. However, in the end her reports made no mention of a possible connection with Russia at all. We stand by our impartial, independent journalism."
The news comes as French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on December 9 that the French Secretariat-General for National Defense and Security (SGDSN) was looking into media reports about Russia's alleged meddling in the rallies.
It followed The Times’ reports that hundreds of allegedly Russia-linked Twitter accounts were found fueling the "Yellow Vests" protests by posting pictures of injured protesters and retweeting posts connected to the unrest.
In response, the Kremlin has stressed that Russia considers the protests as France’s internal affair, and called claims of Russia's alleged involvement slander.