Today I’d like to focus on the subject roiling the western world – another interesting story about “Kremlin hackers.
” We saw media reports on Russia allegedly hacking the Italian Foreign Ministry and other Italian institutions last year.
At the Italian media’s request, we made a comment without delay.
Today I’d like to focus on this subject again because we have carried out an analysis of the situation and checked the information.
I can say that Russia has not received any formal address from the Italian administration with a request to clarify the situation.
Apparently, the Italian authorities themselves got this information from the media.
This information requires appropriate expert verification.
As we understand, Italy intends to do this.
Naturally, we did not see anything fundamentally new in how this information was put out there.
This is not the first time that such absolutely unjustified charges were made against Russia.
It has become standard practice and is persistently being implanted in people’s minds.
The strategy is clear and the ways to implement it are also evident.
We regularly comment on this subject and we will continue doing so.
We certainly understand that this subject is being artificially boosted by the media, so as to frighten ordinary people with the “threat” allegedly posed by Russia.
The irony of it is that all the dishonest practices of many western colleagues become common knowledge either some time later when facts are confirmed (for example, using toxic weapons that are destructive to human health), or when independent investigative reports are published.
The media do not consider these things to be a threat.
It does not matter that an entire region, a large country is contaminated as a result of using cancer-causing weapons.
This is not a threat to peace and security, this is normal.
It does not matter that it has been proved that intelligence agencies of a whole range of countries engage in bugging and shadowing other countries’ officials.
This does not count either.
As for mythical hacker stories being made up all over the world, that’s what is of interest.
This is what creates a threat to peace and security in Europe and the West as a whole.
The issue of hacking attacks involves not only Italian agencies but France as well.
As you know, the campaign headquarters of the French movement En Marche that has nominated presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has reported cyber-attacks on the campaign headquarters website and its database from servers in Russia.
One gets the impression that Mr Macron is trying to one-up Hillary Clinton.
This is a dubious path.
Moreover, the movement’s leader Richard Ferrand has not missed a chance to accuse the Russian media of publishing daily “fake news” about their candidate Mr Macron.
We have checked the news quoted by Mr Ferrand.
It has nothing to do with the media outlets mentioned by him.
In effect, Mr Ferrand himself has spread “fake news.
” It may be paradoxical, but it’s a fact.
According to Mr Ferrand, Mr Macron is being targeted because he advocates a strong Europe that would show its might, including with regard to Russia, while other candidates are voicing much friendlier positions towards Russia.
Why do a strong Europe and a friendly position towards Russia seem mutually exclusive? When did Russia perceive a strong Europe as an enemy? Please read statements by Russian leaders over the past three years – a period marked by an obvious crisis in relations with Europe.
In all his interviews here in Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discusses what we want, which is a strong and powerful Europe, and we want to cooperate with Europe as a strong partner.
Are there any opposing opinions expressed in any speeches or interviews? You will not find them.
Europe is our historical, geographic and natural partner.
Instead of merely showing our respect for Europe, we have always voiced our desire to cooperate and work with it.
We have seen how Europe’s attitude towards Russia has changed.
I would like to stress that, quite possibly, Mr Ferrand does not know that it is Europe, rather than Russia, that has changed its attitude under US pressure.
This is a proven fact.
American representatives have openly said that it is only under US pressure that Europe had imposed sanctions against Russia.
Our European colleagues have also openly told us so, and they continue to say this.
Today, this is no talk but a virtual groan because incoming statistics convince those involved in foreign policy and international relations, and not just them, who the real victim of the policy of sanctions is.
Of course, Europe, ordinary Europeans, farmers and representatives of small and medium-sized businesses are the main victims of the sanctions war.
Please take a look at the statistics before drawing such conclusions.
I would like to once again note the paradox of people talking about the threat of spreading “fake news” when they don’t understand what they are talking about.
They use wrong the names, confuse names and media outlets.
This means that, to be honest, they are not the ones behind this, and that this process is being orchestrated by certain people behind the scenes.
I cannot rule out this idealised approach, but when this approach is being implemented independently, information is being studied to some extent, and preparations are being made.
It appears that certain instructions are being sent to various countries to use this methodology in a certain context.
We see the same mistakes repeated.
They not only repeat allegations of hackers and “fake news,” but copy the exact mistakes in different countries.
One gets the impression that these instructions originated in the same place, and that they are being distributed all over.
We have seen such approaches involving the distribution of materials in European countries at the height of the sanction wars when materials were distributed among representatives of major companies and businesses.
Indeed, those materials were prepared in the same ideological centre.
Quite possibly, history is now being repeated, and this process involves certain Russian hackers.
I repeat, there are no data, no facts and no specific information.
This entire propaganda campaign is absolutely groundless.
The US media reported the other day, while quoting their own sources, that Russian secret services or the Russian side have allegedly decided to extradite former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden to the United States as a gift for US President Donald Trump.
This is not the first time that US media outlets quoted anonymous sources, and we have already commented on these issues.
First, no one has asked the Russian side to confirm or deny this information prior to publication.
Second, the Russian side has already commented on the absolute absurdity of these statements at various levels.
How do you fight “fake news” when you are doing everything to create it? Here is another paradoxical example of the alleged fight against “fake news” that directly concerns our Ministry.
This involves ideas about the division of Macedonia which are being ascribed to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
As you know, we have published a denial and commented on this issue.
Why am I mentioning all this as deliberately created and concocted “fake news,” rather than mistakes? You see, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, to whom these absurd ideas are being ascribed, openly and publicly discussed the Balkan situation in his speech before members of the Federation Council of the Russian Federal Assembly.
For example, he noted that certain political circles are discussing greater “federalisation” of Macedonia and the creation of a “flexible federation”, and maybe even a “confederation.
” The Minister also noted that he had heard that ideas about dismembering the country, which is allegedly an artificial state, are being voiced.
The media obviously has access to the original Russian position on this issue.
But, instead of seeking comment, they completely ignore the clear position that has already been set forth with respect to the news they concocted themselves.
To conclude this section, I would like to say that we will continue to comment on all such cases individually and whenever necessary.
Quite soon, we will launch our own project on the official Foreign Ministry website where we will collect “fake news” from leading foreign media outlets and the statements of official representatives of various countries.
We will expose them, publish original sources and data, and we will prove that the Russian side has already responded to the specific issues in question.
We will work on this.