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EU Claims ‘Russian Sources’ Are Threat to Parliamentary Elections in May

© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky / Go to the mediabankFlags outside the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
Flags outside the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg - Sputnik International
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Tuesday, casting Russia as a threat to "free and fair" EU parliamentary elections in May, citing the country's alleged "disinformation strategies."

"The sources and phenomena of disinformation can be identified inside and outside the Union and are originating from a range of state and non-state actors. In this regard, efforts should target malign actors, notably Russian sources," the Council of the European Union document read.

READ MORE: Eurosceptic Parties Might Receive 5th of EU Parliament Seats in May Vote — Polls

The Council accused unidentified Russian sources of increasingly deploying disinformation strategies and suggested that any action against them should be guided by threat analyses and intelligence assessments.

A flag of the European Union (EU) flutters in front of the Hungarian parliament during a demonstration against the Hungarian government's plan to nationalise private pension funds in Budapest downtown - Sputnik International
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With less than a hundred days left until the European vote, the Council added another initiative to a raft of documents that seek to set out a common approach toward suspected disinformation and other malicious practices it believes could undermine the electoral process.

The Council called for an array of non-legislative measures, including enhancing preparedness to cyber threats, establishing a network of fact-checkers to detect disinformation on social and digital media, and setting up a rapid alert system to share data on perceived disinformation campaigns.

Russia has repeatedly refuted claims of interfering in other countries’ electoral processes. The Russian envoy to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, accused the bloc in December of blaming Russia for meddling in the May elections before they even began.

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