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Germany 'vigilant' to Russia meddling threat in EU vote

AFP  |  Berlin 

Angela Merkel's said Monday was looking with "heightened vigilance" to the threat of Russian in the lead-up to elections this month.

"Heightened vigilance to this issue has not only been necessary but has been practised for some time, in as well as at the European level," Merkel's told a conference in

"Our increased attention is not without reason. We are observing carefully the of different international sources -- among them are Russian ones."

Seibert was responding to renewed warnings would run disinformation and manipulation campaigns ahead of the May 23-26 election, including from who called it "a central issue" in comments to German

meanwhile reported that "a constellation of websites and accounts linked to or far-right groups is spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust" in mainstream parties.

In Germany, the report said, the far-right Alternative for (AfD) party had received strong support from both and unofficial pro-Russian channels.

The daily cited a former FBI as saying also appeared to amplify messages from left-wing anti-fascist or Antifa groups, including calls on to join anti-AfD protests, with the apparent goal of sowing political discord.

Lithuania's gave a similar warning during an interview with German media group

"The European elections are a test run of whether the defensive mechanisms against Russian influence work," he was quoted as saying. "We must not be naive: is trying to create a permanent state of instability in the EU and exploit it for its own interests.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 19:51 IST