Embassy comment concerning today’s unfriendly statements by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

The Embassy has noted the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab concerning unspecified “Russian actors” who have “almost certainly” sought to interfere in 2019 UK General Election through “online amplification” of sensitive documents relating to the UK-US Free Trade Agreement, as well as the alleged responsibility of “Russian Intelligence Services” for cyber attacks aimed at stealing research information on coronavirus vaccine development.

Our position is clear: Russia has not and will never interfere in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom, especially in the context of democratic elections, and we always cooperate on matters of clear mutual interest openly and in good faith. It is up to the architects of this so-called “investigation” to explain how a brief episode, barely covered by the British media, could have impacted the outcome of the election. We don’t understand this.

As far as the cyberthreats are concerned, Russia has been for years proposing to the UK to establish a professional dialogue in order to thoroughly consider the issues that may arise. The British authorities are well aware that Russia has established its National Computer Incident Response and Coordination Centre (NCIRCC) specifically to work on these matters. However, we haven’t received any requests on the abovementioned incidents through official channels. One has to conclude that this is not about a genuine cyber security concern, but barefaced propaganda.

The same is true when it comes to fighting coronavirus. Russian authorities actively participate in respective international efforts, including those initiated by the UK Government. Moreover, we have proposed to our British partners to establish constructive bilateral cooperation between our health ministries and their subordinate bodies and agencies. In return, Russia is being blamed for trying to steal information on vaccine development.

We have also taken note of the Foreign Secretary’s suggestion that the UK Government reserves the right to respond with appropriate measures in the future. In this regard, we would like to state once again that any unfriendly actions against Russia will not be left without a proper and adequate response.

 

16 July 2020, 19:10