German foreign minister blames Russia for cyberattack against SPD party

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks in Adelaide, Friday, May 3, 2024.
Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks in Adelaide, Friday, May 3, 2024. Copyright Michael Errey/AP
Copyright Michael Errey/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Relations between the two European countries were already tense, with Germany providing military support to Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia.


German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said Russian state hackers were behind a cyberattack last year that targeted the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which leads the country's governing coalition.

The top diplomat said Moscow will face consequences after accusing its military intelligence service of masterminding an “absolutely intolerable” cyberattack.

“Russian state hackers attacked Germany in cyberspace,” she said at a news conference in Adelaide. “We can attribute this attack to the group called 'APT28', which is steered by the military intelligence service of Russia."

“This is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable and will have consequences,” she said.

Baerbock made her comments following the closure of a German federal government investigation into the attack, which happened in January 2023. 

Berlin had said that Russian activist hackers pushed several German websites offline in response to the government's decision to send tanks to Ukraine.

Baerbock is visiting Australia, New Zealand and Fiji as part of a trip focusing on security policy. Her visit comes as China pushes for more influence in the Pacific region.  

“The defence cooperation between Germany and Australia is close and we would like to deepen it further and together expand it because we are in a situation where we face similar threats,” said Baerbock.

She is the first German foreign minister to visit Australia in 13 years.

Discussions between Baerbock and her Australian counterpart Penny Wong centred on the conflict in Gaza. 

“I think we all understand that the only path out of this cycle of violence that we see in the Middle East at such great cost is one that ultimately ensures a two-state solution,” Wong said.

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