Germany wary of Russian propaganda campaign, lacks proof

AP News
Posted: Feb 08, 2017 10:55 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German officials say they remain concerned about possible Russian propaganda before this year's elections, despite reports that Germany's spy agencies have failed to find proof of such efforts.

Daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcaster NDR reported Tuesday that the publication of a 50-page intelligence dossier was canceled for lack of a "smoking gun" linking Moscow to propaganda campaigns in Germany.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer declined Wednesday to confirm the reports, citing customary secrecy on intelligence matters.

But she said Germany sees "tendentious reporting in Russian media" that suggested government involvement.

Demmer said "due to their ownership and the way Russian media work we can also assume that these aren't spontaneous or accidental developments."

Germany's domestic intelligence chief recently cited "growing evidence of attempts to influence" this fall's national elections.