Security experts from 27 countries, including Britain and the United States will gather in Prague on a five-day conference to a joint effort to develop a strategy against the alleged destabilizing actions of the Kremlin, which aimed at undermining the elections in Western countries.
The Czech Ministry of the interior had arranged this meeting, organized by the Center for strategic communications, NATO (Stratcom), in an attempt to convince States and the European Union as a whole of the need to strengthen electoral processes, due to the fact that the world’s growing concern about alleged interference in the elections by the Russian government headed by Vladimir Putin.
The event is held in a very delicate situation that is connected with the decision of Donald trump to fire FBI Director James Comey, who led the investigation into possible links between Russia and the presidential headquarters of the trump in 2016.
In some countries, European elections are coming, for example, in June in Britain, in September in Germany and the Czech Republic. In the last October parliamentary elections, a few months after that, presidential elections. Officials have expressed fears in connection with possible violations of the electoral process with the support of Russia.
“Today, Western countries treat this more seriously, because they saw how it reflects on them, not only in Ukraine and in the Baltic countries”, — said the Deputy Director of the Czech research centre “European values” Jakub Janda (Janda Jakub). This center together with other organizations, among which was the British Embassy, organized this conference.
“If it had been the main foreign policy issue, now it has become a problem of internal security,” he added.
Czech Republic first among the countries-EU members have openly addressed this issue in the month of January, creating a Centre for combating terrorism and hybrid threats, whose purpose is to protect the Czech elections from websites with “fake news” and other activities in the implementation and organization of which I suspect Moscow.
The conference organizers are calling for other measures, including legislative, to protect the Western country whose democratic system and sovereignty may be at risk of external interference.
“It is clear that democracies need to develop a nationwide policy to counter hostile disinformation operations, which are performed constantly, not only during elections,” — said in a hard-hitting report which will be submitted to the state 160 professionals, occurring behind closed doors in the first two days of the summit.
This report argues that Moscow last year tried to influence the British referendum on leaving the EU, as well as preferred the Trump (which greatly documented) and the extreme right candidate marine Le Pen in the recent presidential elections in France.
“Democracy should relate to electoral processes as an essential part of their national infrastructure,” the report said. It is a call to develop “a particular national defense policy” aimed at ensuring free and fair elections.
The report notes that candidates can create a false e-mail address to protect against computer hacking. There also is an appeal to the authorities to close potential legal loopholes allowing foreign financed candidates through local nominees.
Analysts have accused the Kremlin that it supports mostly marginal far-right movements opposed to NATO, the EU and immigration, and working in different countries, including the Baltic republics, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Sweden and so on. The attempts at destabilization promoted news sites which spread a distorted and outright false information.
Center “European values”, which has a website called Watch Kremlin, has accused the European Commissioner for foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini in that it ignores the problem.
Despite the fact that the US investigation of the Russian intervention in last year’s presidential election and possible collusion of Russia and the headquarters of the trump, at the conference expected a high-level delegation from the Pentagon and state Department.
“We are afraid that the White house trump will attempt to prevent American involvement, said Janda. But American diplomats in Europe tell me that the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson gave their permission for the participation of the United States and ordered to act vigorously.”
The summit takes place against the background of the struggle for power in Czech politics between the Pro-Western social Democrat Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and President miloš Zeman, who many consider a close ally of the Kremlin, which has repeatedly criticized the EU sanctions against Russia, imposed over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Czech commentators predict that Moscow will support Zeman during his fight for re-election in the presidential election that is scheduled for January next year.
We hear it many months, and I find it hard to believe “alleged Russian intervention”, because there are no clear evidence, but even more so, an indication of which political force is behind this.
I’m not talking about fake news and not about promoting a particular agenda, as is essentially everything. But there are very serious allegations that have a significant impact on public opinion, and they further reinforce the division and distrust between “East and West”, that is to the detriment of both the EU and Russia.
I’m not getting any sides, I just want to understand what’s really going on.
The British and the Yankees for many years followed the European correspondence and communication, making it since the advent of the global system of electronic surveillance Eshelon. That they are enemies of Europe. And not Russia.
Europeans, beware of the Anglo-American Ministry of truth and education.
For information: I am Dutch.
Judging by the comments, either there is a army of Russian trolls, or our own commentators is incredibly naive and illogical. Don’t know which is worse. It is a real distraction.