French election contender Macron is Russian cyberattack target: party chief

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Russian Federation has denied carrying out media and Internet attacks against French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

In an opinion piece in the daily Le Monde on Tuesday headlined "Russia must not be allowed to destabilise the French presidential election", the secretary-general of Macron's movement En Marche (On The Move) accused RT and Sputnik of fanning the "slanderous" claims.

"We didn't have, and do not have, any intention of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, or in their electoral processes in particular", Peskov told reporters.

A top aide for the election frontrunner - and rival to Marine Le Pen - says Mr Macron has been the target of false reports spread by state-controlled media, including Russia Today and Sputnik.

U.S. intelligence agencies said in a report last month that Russian President Vladimir Putin had directed a cyber campaign to help Republican Donald Trump's electoral chances by discrediting Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.

It comes after French intelligence warned of growing concerns about the risk of a Russian cyber attack in support of far-right candidate Le Pen. "The Americans saw it but it came too late".

In a column written by Habib for the Times of Israel website and published on Sunday, the lawmaker, a vice president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and a personal friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called the measure unconstitutional and reminded Le Pen of the "imperishable debt Europe owes the Jewish people". In this framework, she said French Jews should be banned from wearing kippahs in some public spheres to preserve equality and facilitate further bans on wearing Muslim religious clothing.

But on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Ferrand's charges.

In addition, Ferrand said the Macron campaign was being hit by "hundreds if not thousands" of attacks probing the campaign's computer systems from locations inside Russian Federation. The first round of the French presidential election is scheduled for April 23.

Russian Federation has denied the smear campaign.

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