Russia and China are of serious concern to UK national intelligence. This was announced on Friday, April 23, by the director of the British Government Communications Center (GCHQ) Jeremy Fleming at a lecture at the Institute for Security, Science and Technology.
“Just last week, the UK, the US and other countries called on Russia to compromise with SolarWinds <…> Russia’s behavior <…> demonstrates that it remains the most serious threat to Britain’s national and collective security,” he said.
According to Fleming, Russia poses the most threat in the field of cybersecurity, but there are other areas as well. Among these, he named alleged “interference in elections” and “aggressive operations of intelligence services.”
The director of the British government communications center also spoke about the threat to the country’s security from China. He believes that the PRC is a threat mainly in the field of computer technology.
Earlier, on April 19, the UK prepared a bill to protect the nation from hostile states. According to The Times, according to the draft law, persons working in Britain on behalf of foreign governments will be required to register their presence in the kingdom. It is also planned to update the law on state secrets.
The publication says that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is determined to continue these measures against the backdrop of growing concern about the activities of Russia and China.
On April 15, the Foreign Office summoned Russian Ambassador to Great Britain Andrei Kelin to discuss the SolarWinds cyberattack attributed to the Russian Federation.
In turn, the Russian Embassy in London noted that by inviting the Russian ambassador against the background of Russian accusations of cyberattacks, the British Foreign Ministry is trying to play along with the United States.
On April 18, Kelin stated that for almost a year and a half since his appointment, relations between Russia and Great Britain have deteriorated, contrary to his initial hopes. According to him, the kingdom’s authorities continue to ignore all offers of Russia to cooperate in the investigation of the incident with the Skripals in 2018 in Salisbury, continuing talks about the threat that Moscow allegedly poses to London.
On March 14, Johnson, during the presentation of the country’s new defense strategy in parliament, called Russia “the biggest threat” to the kingdom. He explained this statement by the “frequent aggressive incursions” of the Russian Federation into the water and airspace of Great Britain and the alleged readiness of Russia to “kill dissidents on British soil.”
On March 16, the British government presented a new foreign policy and defense strategy for the next 30 years, according to which the state is going to increase the number of nuclear warheads to 260.