14:07 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Kremlin brushes off Estonian accusations of hacker attacks

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    The Russian authorities have not been involved in hacker attacks on Estonian government Web sites and Estonia's accusations directed at Moscow in this respect are groundless, a Kremlin source said Thursday.

    MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian authorities have not been involved in hacker attacks on Estonian government Web sites and Estonia's accusations directed at Moscow in this respect are groundless, a Kremlin source said Thursday.

    Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said May 1 that hacker attacks blocking several Estonian government Web sites had been traced to IP addresses linked to "the office of the Russian president and individuals at Russian government organizations."

    "Unfortunately, hacker attacks on government servers in many countries are a rather common practice," the source said.

    "For instance, the Web site of the Russian president was under an unprecedented large-scale hacker attack May 3 that seemed to originate from several servers based in the Baltic states," he said, adding that Estonian officials should be more careful spreading groundless accusations.

    The Estonian president's Web site, as well as those of the Estonian government, parliament, banks and some companies, were crippled for more than two weeks by hacker attacks from abroad after the government removed a disputed Soviet statue in Tallinn and decided to relocate the remains of fallen Red Army soldiers from the center of the Estonian capital to a military cemetery.

    Russia has protested Estonian actions involving the monument, and linked them to broader policies it says are pursued in the Baltics, notably by Latvia and Estonia, against Russian-speaking minorities, citing the revival of Nazism, a crackdown on the Russian language and the denial of citizenship to minorities.

    During Russia-EU human rights consultations in Berlin, the Russian delegation accused the EU of ignoring outright violations of common European values and principles the Baltic states were supposed to be a part of.