18 December 201910:44

Anti-Russia story in Le Monde French daily

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We noted a story published on December 5 in the French newspaper Le Monde, Haute-Savoie, the Base of Russian Spies. The daily replicates insinuations about the alleged subversive activities of the Russian military intelligence in Europe, fuelling speculations about some “transshipment and logistics” centre of the Russian GRU military intelligence special unit in France.

It is noteworthy that the reporter cites the British investigative journalism agency Bellingcat we know from the so-called Skripal case, as well as unnamed sources in the French intelligence services. As regards the Bellingcat pseudo-media, this group of bloggers has been repeatedly found planting fake news, not to mention the fact that most of its materials have a clear anti-Russia focus. Citing anonymous sources in the special services has become a new trend in the “spy publications” in the Western media – because of the lack of evidence, they cite sources that cannot be authenticated.

We have also noticed that the story mentions in passing that the French, British and Swiss intelligence services collaborating on the investigation have not found any caches with weapons or equipment, nor any possible accomplices of Russia’s alleged intelligence unit in France. So the only argument left to prove their conspiracy theory is the notorious “highly likely.” Yet, we regret to note that the complete lack of evidence has not stopped the publication of this openly Russophobic piece abounding with propaganda fakes.

We also believe that the timing for plating this information was chosen for a reason. The article was published ahead of the Normandy format summit and had a clear goal of damaging Russia's reputation, at the same time discrediting the policy of French President Emmanuel Macron to normalise relations with Moscow.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeatedly pointed out the Western media bias to serving the interests of a certain lobby group: “As to the rumours spread by our US colleagues, for some reason no questions are asked when NATO countries’ servicemen, who had never been invited, officially appear all over the world. They seem to be present there as a fact and have the right to be there. But as soon as something occurs somewhere, some Bellingcat and other NGOs will plant materials about Russia doing something wrong somewhere again. I read that a spy ring has been discovered in Haute-Savoie. Then it was written, actually, that no spying activities had been recorded but it is a spy ring anyway.”

We regard the article as misinformation aimed at supporting the myth of the Russian threat in the minds of Europeans. Le Monde publishes speculations and conjectures aimed at convincing the readers that all this is true and serious, without any real evidence or weighty arguments. Russia does not and did not have intentions to engage in any kind of destabilising operations in Europe. This does not correspond to our foreign policy, national interests, or our understanding of how relations between states are built. Russia respects the sovereignty of other countries and does not interfere in their affairs.

 

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/12/04/la-haute-savoie-camp-de-base-d-espions-russes_6021648_3210.html

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