The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution of Germany is concerned that Russia may interfere in the 2017 Bundestag election campaigns.
“Last year, we saw that Russia influenced the formation of public opinion in Germany. We are concerned that the same might happen next year,” this was said by the president of the agency, Hans-Georg Maaßen, during an interview with Reuters.
As an example of this, Maaßen mentioned the alleged kidnapping of a Russian girl named Lisa in Berlin. At that time, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, publicly accused German justice agencies of being involved. The German government denied these accusations and it was subsequently revealed that the girl had not actually been kidnapped.
“We have the impression that when the formation of public opinion and decision-making procedures are influenced, it is part of a hybrid threat. It is important to make the public aware of it. The best way is to speak about it. If people see that the information they have received is false and that it is propaganda, the poison of the lie will lose its effectiveness,” Maaßen explained.
Some security agencies have accused Russia of supporting right-wing populist- and anti-European groups in the EU. American and French security agencies have also accused Moscow of interfering in their election campaigns.