By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Friday demanded the UK Foreign Office to give explanations about leaked documents, claiming London secretly finances Russian-language anti-Kremlin media aiming to "change regime," "weaken Russia's influence on neighbors."
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the documents, allegedly belonging to the UK Foreign Office, show that London supports through some public relations (PR) agencies Russian opposition media, aiming to "create conditions for regime change in Russia" and "undermine Russian influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia."
"According to the leaked documents, PR agencies search for a new audience, promote content, make adjustments to the editorial policy and teach the staff the latest technologies for manipulating mass consciousness," Zakharova said.
The documents also claim Thomson Reuters and BBC Media Action are engaged in "a secret information war" against Russia, she added.
The spokeswoman recalled that in November 2017, then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to give Russia the status of "a hostile state" and to allocate £100 million ($139.65 million) for this purpose.
Zakharova suggested that the leaked documents are "confirmation" that May's plan is working.
On Feb. 18, a group of hackers, called Anonymous, published documents, claiming Thomson Reuters and BBC Media Action foundations are involved in a secret information war against Russia.
According to the leaked papers, the program is called Counter Disinformation & Media Development and is supervised by the British Foreign Office.