UK PM Theresa May accuses Russian Federation of meddling in election, cyber espionage

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

In an extraordinary attack, May warned of Kremlin attempts to "weaponise information" as she argued a Brexit trade deal would support Europe's commitment to free societies in the face of Russian threats to the worldwide order.

Meanwhile, NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid that Spain is the latest country to accuse the Kremlin of spreading fake news aimed at disrupting politics: Lauren tells our Newscasts unit that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says that more than half of social media site accounts spreading "disinformation" about Catalonia have been traced to Russian Federation.

May made her comments at a foreign policy address held at the Lord Mayor's Banquet. She added that the "comprehensive new economic partnership" that the United Kingdom sought with Europe would "underpin" their "shared commitment" to open economies and free societies.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has launched a blistering attack on what she called Russia's efforts to "sow discord in the West", putting Moscow on notice: "We know what you are doing and you will not succeed". She stated that Russia's "illegal annexation of Crimea" was the first time, since the time of the Second World War that "one sovereign nation" had "forcibly" taken a territory from another, in Europe.

"Russia has repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption", she said.

Theresa May last night made her most outspoken attack on Russian Federation for using fake news to "sow discord" in Britain and other western nations.

She cited the use of disinformation and cyber warfare and Russia's alleged meddling in elections as proof of its aim to "undermine free societies".

"The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise", she warned.

"We know that a strong and prosperous Russian Federation which plays by the rules would be in the interests of the United Kingdom, Europe and the world".

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson faced questions after a photograph emerged of him alongside Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic who is caught up in the USA investigation into Russian influence on the presidential election, amid allegations that he said he had access to "dirt" on Hilary Clinton.

"As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia has the reach and the responsibility to play a vital role in promoting global stability". "I have a very simple message for Russia", Mrs May said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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