NATO warning over Russian activity in seven European countries – including UK

NATO has issued an urgent warning about “hostile” Russian activity across Europe, including in the UK. The military alliance said it was “deeply concerned” about “recent malign activities” by Moscow, described as a threat to Western security.

“Hostile state activity” is affecting Britain, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, according to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s main political decision making body.

It pointed to disinformation, sabotage, acts of violence and cyber and electronic interference.

A statement read: “These incidents are part of an intensifying campaign of activities which Russia continues to carry out across the Euro-Atlantic area, including on Alliance territory and through proxies.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a message posted on X that such activities will not deter the US-led alliance from supporting Ukraine.

The North Atlantic Council said in a statement: “NATO Allies are deeply concerned about recent malign activities on Allied territory, including those resulting in the investigation and charging of multiple individuals in connection with hostile state activity affecting Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom.”

NATO members condemned Russia’s behaviour and called on the country to uphold its international obligations.

Germany and the UK are two of the largest providers of military hardware to Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in February 2022.

Support for Ukraine has made the war-torn country’s allies targets for Russia as it seeks to destabilise countries across Europe.

Prosecutors in Germany charged a German army captain with attempting to pass secrets to Russian intelligence in March.

The European Parliament announced in March that it was investigating claims MEPs took money to spread Russian propaganda.

Brussels issued a resolution denouncing such moves last month after revelations of Kremlin-backed bids to undermine European democratic processes.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has argued that Western countries need to do more to counter Russia‘s use of unconventional warfare if they are to turn back Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Jack Watling, Oleksandr V. Danylyuk and Nick Reynolds wrote in a RUSI report that Russia has an interest in creating crises further afield.

In a sweeping report, the authors said: “Russia also has an active interest in destabilizing Ukraine’s partners, and with a slew of elections forthcoming across Europe there is a wide range of opportunities to exacerbate polarization.”

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