UK minister accuses Russia of ‘weaponizing misinformation’

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LONDON: UK DefenSe minister Michael Fallon on Thursday accused Russia of “weaponizing misinformation,” in a stark warning on cyber warfare in which he also took aim at Kremlin-backed media. “Russia is clearly testing NATO and the West. It is seeking to expand its sphere of influence, destabilize countries and weaken the alliance,” he said.The defense minister’s comments follow allegations by US intelligence agencies of interference in the country’s elections by Moscow, which prompted the outgoing administration to impose sanctions on Russian agencies. Fallon referred to the allegation in describing a “persistent pattern of behavior” by Moscow. “(Russia) is undermining national security for many allies and the international rules-based system. “Therefore it is in our interest and Europe’s to keep NATO strong and to deter and dissuade Russia from this course,” said Fallon, who also called for London to engage with Moscow. The minister also took aim at Kremlin-backed media, such as television channel RT and Sputnik news agency, which he said were responsible for spreading “Soviet-style misinformation.”

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