LONDON, April 29. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy to the United Kingdom has dubbed as an information campaign the investigation carried out by The Sunday Times about the influence of "Russian bots" on the 2017 general election results, the embassy said on Sunday in a press release.
The Russian embassy pointed out that the newspaper published the article in the run-up to the May 3 local elections.
"Such an information campaign was to be expected. The idea is to drag Russia into UK party politics, to use these accusations in opportunistic domestic aims. It has also happened before. Some time ago we were accused of supporting ‘Brexit’ and ‘brexiteers’ in an attempt ‘to destabilize the country’," the document reads.
"What nonsense. The UK is indeed divided over Brexit issues, but an alleged "Russian interference" has nothing to do with it," the embassy added.
The embassy said the publication "defies any logic."
"The authors want us to believe that some 6500 bots of murky origin and with an extremely low number of followers (to be compared with the total of 17 mln Twitter users in UK) have swayed millions of voters. This is an absurd idea. It is also remarkable that against this background official London stubbornly refuses to discuss cybersecurity issues with Moscow, as proposed to Foreign Secretary Johnson by Minister Lavrov in December 2017," it says.
"And it is easy to guess why. If talks among experts begin, they will have to discuss the matter seriously and professionally. That’s exactly the kind of discussion UK is obviously unprepared for," the statement noted.
The diplomats concluded, "Demonizing Russia is a consistent policy of the Tory Government, set in the National Security Strategy and later confirmed in the Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech and numerous statements by the Foreign Secretary in the Parliament."
"Many people in UK doubt the wisdom of such policy, and the Government has to use media campaigns in an attempt to discredit Russia and gain support," they said in the statement.
The Sunday Times publication about "Russian bots"
On Sunday, the Sunday Times released an investigation carried out jointly with Swansea University. The publication claims that "Russian bots" tried to swing last June’s snap general election in favor of British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The authors allege that 6,500 "Russian" Twitter accounts sent messages of support for Corbyn in several weeks before the election. Nine of ten messages supported the Labor Party while nine of ten messages referring to the Conservatives were critical.
Russia has persistently rejected any accusations and reiterated its non-involvement in political processes in foreign countries.