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    Moscow Hopes Berlin to Avoid Claims of Russia Meddling in General Election

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    Moscow remains hopeful that the German officials will refrain from implicating Russia in any allegations of interference in the upcoming German parliamentary election during the campaign, Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Russia's Federation Council, said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (BfV) President Hans-Georg Maassen said that he expected an increase in cyberattacks allegedly carried out by Russian hackers before the September election.

    "[The US side] has sent certain requests to us [ahead of the US presidential election]. We have responded to them and our comments have not resulted in any objection at the point. And then the situation developed in totally incomprehensible and politicized way, and we do not want the repetition of this situation in regards to the German elections," the Russian lawmaker said at the meeting with member of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Gernot Erler.

    On Thursday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that if Russia tried to interfere in the German election, the action would harm both states.

    Media reports about Russia's alleged interference in foreign elections were spurred on by the US 2016 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, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not rule out the possibility of Russian hackers interfering in Germany's federal election. In January, German media reported that Germany's Foreign Intelligence Serivce (BND) had suspicions that Russia could try and influence the outcome 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's meddling in its election.

    Russia has repeatedly refuted all allegations, with Foreign Minister Sergey 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 is not intending to do so in the future.

    German general election is slated for September 24.


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