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Kremlin rejects Macron’s Olympic accusations

The French president has claimed Moscow was spreading misinformation to sabotage the games

French President Emmanuel Macron’s claims that Moscow may somehow seek to undermine the Paris Olympics are entirely baseless, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary was asked to comment on the French leader’s remarks, as well as the Czech transportation minister’s allegations that Russia has been trying to hack into the EU railway networks.

“These are absolutely unfounded accusations in both the first and second cases,” Peskov said. “They are often heard, but they are never supported by any adequate evidence or argumentation. We absolutely do not accept such accusations.”

The West often makes baseless accusations against Moscow, Peskov added, calling it “quite indecent behavior.”

On Thursday, at the ceremony for opening a new aquatics center, Macron told reporters he had “no doubt” that Russia was “targeting” the Olympics, “including in the information field.”

“Every day [Russia] is putting out stories saying that we are unable to do this or that, so [the Games] would be at risk,” the French president said.

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File photo: French soldiers patrol the streets as part of the counter-terrorist Vigipirate plan, France, 2019
France wants foreign troops to reinforce Olympics security – media

The Olympics are scheduled to start on July 26, with over 300,000 people observing the opening ceremony on the river Seine. Western experts have voiced concerns that the event may be “highly vulnerable” to terrorist attacks.

France has already asked some 46 countries for over 2,000 additional police specialists to help with securing the games, AFP reported last month citing sources inside the government. Officially, more than 45,000 gendarmes, 18,000 troops and 22,000 private security guards will be tasked with protecting the Olympics.

Paris has raised the terrorist threat level following last month’s attack on Crocus City Hall near Moscow that killed more than 140 people. Macron denied any possibility of Ukraine’s involvement and blamed the attack on Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), which he said might target France as well.

It is not the first accusation of Russian malfeasance the French government has made in recent months, however. In October, after someone stenciled the Star of David on multiple Paris buildings, the French Foreign Ministry claimed that Russian intelligence incited the perpetrators. Moscow’s ambassador rejected the accusation as “completely outrageous” and unfounded.

In February, Macron said Russia was engaging in “disinformation and information manipulation operations” and cyberattacks against France, especially after Paris ramped up its supply of weapons to Ukraine. 

April 05, 2024 at 10:15PM
RT

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