Britain faces growing threat from Russia – MI5 chief

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected Parker's claims. PHOTO: CNN

BRITAIN faces a growing threat from covert attempts at destabilization by Russia, the head of the country’s security and counter-intelligence agency MI5 has said.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper published Tuesday, Andrew Parker, director-general of MI5, said that the covert threat from foreign countries, most notably Russia, was rising at a time when the threat of radical Islam drew the most attention, CNN reported.
Russia was “using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in increasingly aggressive ways — involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber attacks,” he said, in the first newspaper interview with an incumbent MI5 chief in the service’s history.
“Russia is at work across Europe and in the UK today. It is MI5’s job to get in the way of that.”
Besides Russia’s high-profile activities in Ukraine and Syria, it was also responsible for “high-volume activity out of sight with the cyber-threat,” he said.
“Russia has been a covert threat for decades. What’s different these days is that there are more and more methods available.”
He said that Moscow “increasingly seems to define itself by opposition to the West and seems to act accordingly.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected Parker’s assertions in a press conference in Moscow Tuesday.
“These words are not true, we cannot agree with them,” he told journalists, according to state-run news agency TASS.
The Russian embassy in London responded tartly, tweeting on its official account that it was “saddened to see a professional trapped (in) his own propaganda-created world.”
Accompanying the message was an image of the poster for the 1966 US comedy film, “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.”