Merkel to work for better ties with Moscow despite 'hard evidence' Russian hackers targeted her

German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced frustration on Wednesday that Russia was targeting her in hacking action, saying she had concrete proof of the "outrageous" spying attempts, news wires reported. "I can honestly say that it pains me. Every day I try to build a better relationship with Russia and on the other hand there is such hard evidence that Russian forces are doing this," she told parliament.

Germany's intelligence service has repeatedly called out attempts by Russian hackers to spy on lawmakers or leading politicians.

Der Spiegel magazine reported last week that Russia's GRU military intelligence service appeared to have got hold of many emails from Merkel's constituency office in a 2015 hack attack on Germany's parliament. Moscow has denied previous allegations of hacking abroad.

Merkel said investigators into the 2015 hacking had identified a specific suspect. "Unfortunately the conclusion I have reached is that this is not new," she said, noting that "cyber-disorientation, the distortion of facts" were all part of "Russia's strategy". "Obviously this doesn't make it easier" to foster a better relationship with Moscow, she said, calling such spying tactics "more than uncomfortable".

However Merkel told Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, she would continue efforts to improve ties with Russia despite hacking attacks, noting she took such issues very seriously.

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