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Moscow blasts Swiss paper’s claims of 'meddling in West's elections' as smear campaign

May 17, 2017, 4:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The paper claims that the parliamentary elections in Germany will become the next target for Russian hackers

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MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Media publications about Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere in elections in the West are a vilification campaign against Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, commenting on a report by Switzerland’s Neue Zurcher Zeitung.

The May 13 article, headlined "Putin wages war against West," alleges that Russian hackers, supposedly linked to Moscow’s intelligence services, tried to interfere with presidential campaigns in the United States and France. In addition, the paper claims that the parliamentary elections in Germany will become their next target. While the paper fully admits that the true perpetrator of these attacks cannot be traced, it nevertheless hangs the blame on Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry mentioned the article in its website’s section, headlined "Examples of publications that disseminate false information about Russia."

"Having to face such claims, we have come to the conclusion that Neue Zurcher Zeitung has started to deviate from the basic principles of professional journalism, from objective and unbiased coverage of events, and has joined the open information war against Russia. Citing an "array of indirect evidence", "opinions of special services" and his personal opinion, the author voices baseless accusations against our country. It can only be described as vilification," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We believe that such publications will first of all tarnish the positive image of the Swiss media, which until recently had the reputation of an important political institution, which sticks to the principles of neutrality and dialogue, based on mutual respect," the ministry said, adding that Russia has always observed the norms of international law and has never been engaged in cyber attacks.

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