Merkel says have 'hard evidence' on Russian hackers targeting her

WION Web Team
BerlinUpdated: May 13, 2020, 07:17 PM IST
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File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph:(Reuters)

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Merkel told Parliament that she had concrete proof of the 'outrageous' spying attempts by Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the country's Parliament today that her government has "hard evidence that Russian forces" are targeting her in hacking action.

"I can honestly say that it pains me. Every day I try to build a better relationship with Russia and on the other hand, there is such hard evidence that Russian forces are doing this," Merkel told the German Parliament.

Merkel told Parliament that she had concrete proof of the "outrageous" spying attempts by Russia.

The German Chancellor's revelation comes after the country's leading newspaper had reported that Russian military intelligence had obtained Merkel's credentials during a hack on German parliament in 2015 without citing sources.

"Unfortunately the conclusion I have reached is that this is not new," Merkel asserted while saying that "cyber-disorientation, the distortion of facts were all part of Russia's strategy".

"Obviously this doesn't make it easier to foster a better relationship with Moscow," Merkel told lawmakers.

According to a German newspaper, the country had issued an arrest warrant against a suspected Russian military intelligence officer who had allegedly carried out the 2015 hacking.

Amid the hacking allegation, Yevgeny Prigozhin, popularly known as "Putin's chef", said he was "wrongfully persecuted" by the US, which claimed he meddled in 2016 elections after the US Justice Department dropped charges against his company Concord.

Prigozhin vowed to sue the US for $50 billion in damages.