Russia says May's criticism an attempt to distract Britons

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Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday dismissed Prime Minister Theresa May's biting criticism, saying she was vilifying Moscow in an attempt to distract the British public from domestic problems.

"British society is not going through the best of times due to the process of the country's departure from the European Union and an internal schism," spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement published on the ministry's website.

"It is quite clear that to distract public opinion, an external enemy is needed, and Russia has been picked."

May on Monday accused Moscow of "seeking to weaponise information" and "sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions" as she catalogued various Russian actions in an address to the Lord Mayor's Banquet in London.

Russia's activities include "deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images", she said.

"So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed," May added.

The Russian ministry's statement said May's arguments were "not new but the most important aspect uniting them is the irresponsible and baseless character of accusations laid against Russia".

© 2017 AFP

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