Statements made by US and French officials warning of an alleged Russian threat are part of an ongoing information campaign, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Monday.
The New York Times cited US military and intelligence officials earlier that alleged Russian submarines and spy ships were “planning to attack” vital underwater communications cables they were “aggressively” operating near.
“These are all elements of an information campaign: submarines that will cut cables in case of threats, striking the wrong targets, killing civilians, and so on,” Zakharova told the Rossiya-24 broadcaster.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed at the start of Russia’s anti-Islamic State jihadist group campaign on September 30 Russian jets targeted opposition groups to prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Zakharova said Moscow requested several officials, including Le Drian, to provide information on where, in their view, should Russian Aerospace Forces should conduct airstrikes.
“This question was left unanswered. Instead, we are regularly told in press conferences and through the media that we are doing it wrong,” the ministry spokeswoman stressed.
Zakharova added that the goal to discredit Russia is a “high-stakes game” in which “reputable” officials are needed to defend the anti-Russian stance.
“By and large, the reputation is on the line of those who in recent years have argued about Russian aggression in one part of the world or another.”
Since Russia began carrying out anti-ISIL and Nusra Front airstrikes at the request of Assad, the Russian General Staff said militants lost much of their weaponry and equipment. Up to 819 terrorist positions have been destroyed in 934 sorties to date, including several hundred militants, dozens of command centers and depots.