British spy chief warns of threats from an ‘aggressive’ Russia
THE head of British intelligence agency MI5, Andrew Parker, warned of Russia acting in “increasingly aggressive ways” and utilising new technologies in its opposition to the West.
“It is using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in aggressive ways – involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks.
“Russia is at work across Europe and in the UK today. It is MI5’s job to get in the way of that,” Mr Parker told The Guardian newspaper.
The director general of the UK’s domestic security service was speaking after British warships earlier this month shadowed a Russian aircraft carrier battle group through the North Sea, which was en route to the eastern Mediterranean.
Defence Minister Michael Fallon said the Russian naval deployment was “clearly designed to test” British and broader NATO capabilities.
Last month Britain scrambled fighter jets from an airbase in Scotland as two Russian bombers neared, but did not enter UK airspace.
“But there is high-volume activity out of sight with the cyber-threat. Russia has been a covert threat for decades. What’s different these days is that there are more and more methods available,” Mr Parker added.
The spy chief ’s comments follow the US earlier this month accusing Russia of trying to interfere in the upcoming presidential election by hacking US political institutions, charges the Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed.