Russia accuses 'Western world' of plotting to disrupt 2018 World Cup

Russia accuses 'Western world' of plotting to disrupt 2018 World Cup
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The Russian government is accusing the West of plotting to undermine and disrupt the 2018 FIFA World Cup set to take place there.

In an early morning tweet, the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said that the "proof is obvious" that Western countries are looking to "derange" the world's premier soccer tournament.

"MFA:West is plotting to derange @FifaWorldCup. Proof is obvious. Hope common sense will prevail," the embassy wrote on Twitter.

That posting followed Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova's assertion on Thursday that the "Western world" is planning to use negative media coverage and disinformation campaigns to disrupt the World Cup.

She pointed directly to the U.K., accusing the country of taking up a public relations campaign against the tournament "with so much zeal."

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"In a short while, we all will witness the Western world’s vigorous actions in this area," she said in a news briefing. "They will be taking serious steps with regard to the event to be held by Russia.

"It goes without saying that their aim is to disrupt it," she added. "The full information capability will be used to influence public opinion; there will be various surprises." 

The allegations come amid increased tensions between Russia and many Western countries, such as the United States, where intelligence agencies have concluded that the Kremlin sought to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of President Trump.

The House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as the FBI, are investigating Moscow's role in the election and Trump and his associates' potential ties to Russia. U.S. officials have also warned that the Kremlin will likely try to meddle in the upcoming elections of other countries in Europe.