Washington, Oct 31: Russia has denied reports of spying on the G20 delegates in St Petersburg summit held in September, denouncing the allegations as a “clear attempt to divert attention” from revelations concerning the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA).
Italian media claimed on Tuesday that USB flash drives and cables given to the foreign delegates to charge their mobile phones at the September meeting were equipped with technology to retrieve data from computers and telephones.
G-20 delegates were urged to take every possible precaution in case they have used these objects, but if they have not, then hand them over to the security services, CBS News reports.
According to Italian dailies La Stampa and Corriere della Sera, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy was the first person to raise the alarm over the Russian devices.
He then went to intelligence services in Brussels and Germany for advice on whether the devices were bugged, the report added.
A warning was later sent to guest countries represented at the G20 summit regarding the devices.
The claims came at a time when tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Syria and other issues have intensified.
The European Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent said on Wednesday that initial analysis of hardware and software have not revealed any serious security concerns, however, the investigation had not yet fully completed. (ANI)