06:40 GMT15 May 2021
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    Russia won't get involved in the information war and spread fake news in response to the Western media's false reports, Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement during the International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in St. Petersburg.

    "Of course, there won't be any fake news or misinformation campaigns, because it's a way to nowhere," she said.

    The diplomat drew a parallel with nuclear weapons, saying "it is impossible to win a nuclear war."

    "It's impossible to win an information war either, because it would affect ordinary people and lead to a situation when people will simply turn away from traditional media and look for some alternative sources. This is neither good nor bad, the question is only if you, media representatives, are ready for this," Zakharova concluded.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly refuted reports of Western media, seeking to "demonize" Russia in all possible ways. On the official page of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is even a special section dedicated to "fake news" about Russia.

    The West, in turn, repeatedly accused Russian media of spreading false information. On Monday, at a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron explained that he did not allow RT and Sputnik news agency employees to cover his pre-election campaign because "they spread false information and lies."

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Macron's statement is part of an "anti-Russian campaign" in Western countries and noted that such statements are unjustified.

    Previously, it was claimed that the Russian hacking group called APT28 was responsible for the cyberattack on Macron's presidential campaign.

    However, the head of the French National Agency of Information Systems Security (ANSSI) said in an interview with The Associated Press that France has found no traces of Russian hackers in the cyberattack on Macron's campaign.

    Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, has repeatedly said that claims of Russia's alleged attempts to interfere in foreign countries' elections, including those in the US, France and Germany, are groundless.


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