HIGH STAKES: Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov meet in Madrid to establish cybersecurity group against fake news

RUSSIA and Spain have agreed to form a joint cybersecurity group to prevent malicious information damaging relations between the two countries.

At a meeting in Madrid this week Spain’s foreign minister Josep Borrell thanked his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for reaching the agreement.

Borrell claimed the new security group is being established because both countries are ‘worried about fake news’.

He added that both Russia and Spain want ‘to gauge the extent of the problem and analyse it to prevent it from becoming a source of friction’.

The Spanish foreign minister said he and Lavrov had discussed how ‘some Russian mass media go beyond the limits of their professional activity and create inadmissible interference in other countries issues.’

It comes as Facebook announced this week it has blocked 115 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts based in Russia.

There is still an ongoing probe into Russian state-led interference in the 2016 US election of Donald Trump where Russian president Vladimir Putin is believed to have organised a cyber campaign against Democrat candidate Hilary Clinton.

The two foreign ministers also used their meeting to criticise the sanctions against Iran, which they say have been imposed by Trump.

Borrell said he rejected ‘any kind of position that resembles an ultimatum from anyone and also from the United States’.

“This notion of ‘you’re either with me or against me’ is of another era,” he added.

Lavrov said: “Sanctions are absolutely illegitimate, they are are being imposed in flagrant violation of the UN Security Council’s decision.”

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