Angela Merkel leaves room for response to hacker attacks from Russia

Germany has ‘hard evidence’ of Russian hackers’ implication in the cyberattack on the Bundestag in 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on May, 13.

Then several gigabytes of data, including a big number of emails from the Chancellor’s deputy office, were stolen, Deutsche Welle reports. According to German special services, the hackers linked to the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (commonly – GRU) might have been involved in the theft of correspondence.

Germany reserves the right to take action against Russia in response to ‘outrageous actions’, Merkel stressed. In her view, the Russian side employs a hybrid war strategy including ‘disorientation’ and ‘distortion of facts’, which needs to be taken into account. As the top politician is still willing to maintain good relations with Russia, she considers it necessary to continue keeping up diplomatic efforts.

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However, such incidents do hinder trust-based cooperation between the states, the Chancellor stressed. In this regard, she mentioned the measures taken by the German side after the high-profile assassination of former Chechen field commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin in August, 2019.

The alleged performer, a Russian who had previously served in the FSB special forces, was arrested in this case. After the murder, Germany expelled two Russian ambassadors claiming the duo might have had some connection to the crime. The authorities lay the blame on the Kremlin for not providing any assistance in the investigation of the crime. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry believes the accusations to be ‘groundless’.

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