Russia denied the accusations, though it hackers tried to intervene in the British elections of 2019, and to steal data from laboratories and research centers seeking a vaccine against coronavirus. She once again accused the West of anti-Russian sentiments.
“British leadership comes back to the same anti-rake and thereby further undermine not only the bilateral relations with Moscow, but also its own credibility,” — said on Thursday evening the head of the parliamentary foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky.
Over the past five years, the West accused Russia of meddling in the election campaign, the hacking of TV stations, military headquarters, the anti-doping laboratories and pharmaceutical companies, and also attempt in Salisbury with the use of chemical weapons, which led to the expulsion of more than 100 Russian diplomats from the USA and Europe.
In this context, the charges on Thursday are unlikely to shock the Russian public, which is accustomed to growing conflict with the West, which deteriorated after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
This month, Britain imposed sanctions on 25 Russians, including the head of the investigation Department. They are suspected of complicity in human rights violations. The Russian foreign Ministry called the move “unfriendly” attempt to interfere in Russia’s internal Affairs.
If allegations of hacking attacks is confirmed, it will be evidence of Russian cyberwarfare against Western institutions and democratic processes, contrary to the ongoing efforts to contain, such as economic sanctions and threats by Western intelligence services to hold back the devastating cyber attacks against Russia.
Apparently, details of secret trade negotiations between Britain and the United States were made public with the intent to wreak havoc in a General election in the UK in 2019. In advance of the attack on scientists demonstrates Russia’s willingness to use this tactic in the fight against the pandemic coronavirus.
“There is a great temptation to exploit the situation and make a lot of different steps. Now it is a political factor. It is not about health, and not so much about security, but about politics,” said Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, co-author of the book “the Red network” of Russian espionage.
It is clear that the pursuit of coronavirus vaccine has turned into a geopolitical rivalry. On Thursday evening the head of the Russian investment Fund said that the country has no reason to crack the UK in search of the secret of the vaccine, because Russia was the first to establish its own production.
The UK charges aimed at hacker group APT29, she’s Cozy Bear, which is attributed to connection with the exploration of the FSB or SVR and that has proven to be more resourceful and experienced than GRU-backed APT28, or Fancy Bear. Both, according to the U.S. involved in the break-in in 2016 of the National Committee of the Democratic party.
Judging by the responses to charges of meddling in elections in the United States in 2016 or attack in Salisbury, the Kremlin will again deny it, and to foment distrust, citing a lack of evidence or questioning the veracity of British politicians and intelligence services.
This strategy bears fruit. In October 2018 the independent Institute for public opinion, “Levada-center” asked for 1.6 thousand of Russians the question of who is to blame for the poisoning Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. Only 3% of respondents said that the Russian intelligence services. 28% said British, and 56% suggested that it could be anyone.
It is unlikely that even those who do not trust Vladimir Putin, the Russians can take the information from the UK at face value.
In correspondence with the “guardian” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We do not have information about who could crack the British pharmaceutical companies and research centers. One can only conclude that Russia has with these attempts to nothing. We reject such allegations, including the recent unfounded accusations of meddling in the elections of 2019”.