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Merkel blames Russia for outrageous cyber attack on German parliament

Angela Merkel said she had “hard evidence” that Russia was r..

Angela Merkel said she had “hard evidence” that Russia was responsible for an “outrageous” cyber attack on the German parliament.

Answering questions in the Bundestag on Wednesday, the German chancellor said the hacking attack, which occurred in 2015 and also targeted her own parliamentary email account, “obviously disturbs a trustful cooperation” with Russia.

“I can honestly say that it hurts me,” Merkel said in reply to a question from Green MP Tabea Rößner. “On the one hand, I try to improve relations with Russia on a daily basis, and when then, on the other hand, we see that there is hard evidence that Russian forces are operating in such a way, then we are working in a field of tension, which is something that — despite the desire for good relations with Russia — I cannot completely erase from my heart,” Merkel said.

“That is unpleasant … and I also find it outrageous,” she added.

The cyber attack in spring 2015 reportedly caused the theft of more than 16 gigabytes of data, including confidential emails from lawmakers.

German media reported last week that the federal prosecutors office had issued an international arrest warrant against Dmitriy Badin, reportedly a 29-year-old Russian hacker working for Moscows military intelligence service GRU, in relation to the cyber attack.

“I am very glad that the investigations have now led to the Federal Public Prosecutor putting a specific person on the wanted list,” Merkel said. “I take these things very seriously, because I believe that a very proper investigation has been carried out.”

The chancellor said Russia was pursuing “a strategy of hybrid warfare,” including disinformation and the distortion of facts, “which we have to take into account and which we cannot simply ignore.”

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