Merkel warns of possible Russian interference in German election
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Merkel warns of possible Russian interference in German election

Chancellor says Moscow may attempt to undermine 2017 vote, following alleged meddling in US presidential race

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shows the way to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as they leave a hall after a joint press conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 10, 2015. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shows the way to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as they leave a hall after a joint press conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 10, 2015. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV)

BERLIN, Germany — Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday warned Russia could try to influence Germany’s general elections next year through cyber attacks or disinformation campaigns, after Washington accused the Kremlin of similar meddling in the US vote.

“We are already, even now, having to deal with information out of Russia or with internet attacks that are of Russian origin or with news which sows false information,” Merkel, said at a press conference alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Dealing with that was already “a daily task,” she told reporters in Berlin.

“So it may be that this could also play a role during the election campaign.”

The comments came in response to a question about whether Germany could experience the type of cyber attacks that have plagued the White House race, notably targeting Hillary Clinton’s Democratic party.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg give a news conference following talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on November 8, 2016. (TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg give a news conference following talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on November 8, 2016. (TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP)

Washington last month formally accused the Russian government of trying to “interfere” in the election by hacking US political institutions, charges the Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed.

Germany’s domestic secret service earlier this year accused Russia of a series of international cyber spying and sabotage attacks, including a case which targeted the German lower house of parliament last year.

Germans are scheduled to go to the polls in September 2017. Merkel has yet to announce her candidacy but is widely expected to run for a fourth term.

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