MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. An article by the French Le Monde daily about an allegedly discovered "transshipment center of a GRU [Main Intelligence Department] special unit" in Savoy is a propaganda ruse intended to continue plugging the Russian threat myth, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a report circulated on Wednesday.
Due to the absence of evidence, the author of the article refers to unnamed sources in French intelligence, whose authenticity is knowingly impossible to establish, the ministry stressed. This has become "a new trend in spy publications" by the Western media, it added.
"We have shed light on the fact that the article mentions, as if incidentally that the French, British and Swiss intelligence services cooperating in an investigation into the case, have found neither caches for weapons nor equipment, nor any possible accomplices to the allegedly existing Russian intelligence unit. Thus, the notorious ‘highly likely’ remains the only argument in favor of this conspiracy theory, the Foreign Ministry emphasized.
"Regrettably, we must state that the complete lack of evidence has not stopped the paper from publishing an openly Russophobic article replete with bogus propaganda," it went on to say. "We judge this article to be disinformation aimed at inculcating the myth of a Russian threat into the psyche of the average European," it elaborated.
The Foreign Ministry also pointed out that the fake news story was planted early in December, ahead of the Normandy Four summit. "The article was clearly seeking to damage Russia’s reputation and at the same time discredit the policy towards normalizing relations with Moscow charted by French President Emmanuel Macron," it pointed out.
The ministry reiterated that Moscow does not have nor has ever had any intention of engaging in certain destabilizing operations in Europe. "This is at variance with our foreign policy, our national interests, as well as with our understanding of how relations are built between states. Russia respects the sovereignty of other nations and does not meddle in their affairs," the Foreign Ministry stressed.