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Russia Denies Meddling In French Presidential Candidate's Campaign

February 14, 2017

Russia has denied carrying out media and Internet attacks against French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on February 14 that any such accusations against Russian authorities are "simply absurd."

Opinion polls show Macron running second to far-right leader Marine Le Pen, but indicate he has a good chance of beating her in a potential May 7 runoff between the two top candidates.

Le Pen is a critic of the European Union and supports Russian policy on Ukraine.

Richard Ferrand, the secretary-general of Macron's party, said on February 12 that state-backed Russian media such as RT and Sputnik are targeting Macron with "fake news" because of his pro-EU stance.

Ferrand said that Moscow favors the policies of Le Pen and center-right candidate Francois Fillon. He has urged the French government to take steps to ensure there was no "foreign meddling" in the election on April 23.

"We didn't have and do not have any intention of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, or in their electoral processes in particular," Peskov told reporters in a daily conference call.

U.S. intelligence agencies in a report released last month said Russia orchestrated a hacking and propaganda campaign to meddle in the November 2016 presidential election with the aim of undermining the U.S. electoral system, discrediting Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton, and helping her rival, Donald Trump, who won the election.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax

Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/russia- denies-meddling-macron-french-presidential -election/28308938.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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