Vladimir Putin will try to 'interfere' with Merkel's re-election campaign, warns Russian activist
Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov said the Moscow leader was trying to turn Russia into a military superpower.
Speaking to the French conservative daily Le Figaro, Mr Kasparov said that Mr Putin would try to "destabilise" Western democracies.
He said: "2017 is bound to be a historic, pivotal year. Decisive elections are being held in Germany – and in France – and Russia will launch a series of scathing attacks on Angela Merkel.
"Kremlin spies and hackers will do their utmost to discredit her re-election campaign. The Russian hack of the US election was just a taste of what's to come."
Mrs Merkel is vying for a fourth term as German Chancellor with national elections taking place this September.
Mr Kasparov added that the world did not have a problem with Russia, but allegedly with Mr Putin, whom he claims "manipulated" Mr Trump.
Former world chess champion and activist Garry Kasparov
Vladimir Putin in pictures
Tue, December 13, 2016
Russin President Vladimir Putin in pictures
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He said: "Mr Putin did not think that Mr Trump was capable of winning the election. He called him a clown and thought the he would crash and burn.
Kremlin spies and hackers will do their utmost to discredit her re-election campaign
"But he saw potential in him, and so he used him to discredit the election and the US political system."
Mr Kasparov further added that Mr Putin's landmark military intervention in Syria was a "stroke of genius".
Mr Kasparov claimed that Putin intervened in Syria to flood Europe with refugees
"He contributed to the rise of the anti-immigrant far-right in Europe."
This is not the first time that Mr Putin is accused of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.
US intelligence officials recently accused the Kremlin of launching a hacking campaign to interfere with the US election process, and of deliberately boosting Donald Trump's chances of winning the election as a result.