Alwaght- British Prime Minister Theresa fiercely attacked Russia on Monday, accusing it of the tried and trusted sins of endangering global security, election meddling, hacking attacks and spreading fake news.
During an address at the lord mayor’s banquet, May claimed Russia has emerged as the top threat to European democracy and security.
Listing Moscow's attempts to undermine western institutions in recent years, she said: “I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us.
“The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise.”
Echoing the US mainstream narrative on Russia, the British PM said Russia is “threatening the international order on which we all depend," alleging that Moscow has been doing so by“meddling in elections, and hacking the Danish ministry of defense and the Bundestag [the German parliament] among many others.”
Russia is responsible for a range of hostile actions, such as its "sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption,” to its military jets routinely crossing into foreign airspaces and it is to blame for fueling military conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, according to May.
Falling short of providing examples, May accused the Kremlin for using Russian media “to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the west and undermine our institutions.”
“It is seeking to weaponise information. Deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the west and undermine our institutions.”
After urging all western countries to build a united front to confront an omnipotent Russia, effectively echoing Cold War rhetoric, May then took a more conciliatory tone, saying that “we do not want to return to the Cold War, or to be in state of perpetual confrontation” with Russia.To this end, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will travel to Moscow in the coming months, she noted.
The ball, according to May, is in Russia’s court. The PM said as long as Moscow does not change its ‘behavior,’ Europe will “act together to protect our interests and the international order on which they depend.”
The prime minister said she still hoped that Russia would become a strong state that plays by the rules and promotes international security as a permanent member of the United Nations security council.
“Russia can, and I hope one day will, choose this different path,” she said. “But for as long as Russia does not, we will act together to protect our interests and the international order on which they depend.”
May previously spoke out against Russia’s aggression towards eastern Europe during a visit to Estonia in September but this is her most strident language accusing Moscow of manufacturing fake stories and propaganda.