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'Another Russophobic Campaign' Adds to UK Government's New 'Project Fear'

CC0 / / UK Parliament
UK Parliament - Sputnik International
A new cross-party group that reportedly will help defend Britain from Russia set up by UK lawmakers "may lead to a further deterioration" of bilateral relationships between the two countries, the Russian diplomats in London revealed with regret.

In its statement, the Russian embassy in London responded to the creation of the new Russia Coordination Group in the UK Parliament, pointing to its anti-Russian basis.

"Instead of looking for ways to restore the Russo-British relationship or at least keeping channels of communications open, Parliament is letting itself to be drawn into another Russophobic campaign launched by the Conservative government," the embassy said.

The decision to set up the group was made following the initiative by Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The MPs are meant to coordinate "Committee work relating to the scrutiny of Russian-related activity."

According to Mr. Tugendhat, it is essential that "we understand the extent of Putin's activity" and "Parliament is well-placed to do this."

Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko addresses the media at a news conference in the official Russian Ambassador's residence in central London, Britain, file photo. - Sputnik International
British Gov't May Be Preparing Public for Cyberattack on Russia – Ambassador
The initiative adds to the list of statements on Russia by the representatives of the UK government, such as the recent remark by the British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, who said in a televised statement:

"You have to take every possible precaution, and when you look at what Russia has done, not just in this country, in Salisbury, attacks on TV stations, on the democratic processes, on critical national infrastructure — of course we have to be very, very cautious indeed."

During a press conference on April 20, Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko said that presenting allegations of cybersecurity threats posed by Russia in the UK publicly and without any proof is "reckless, provocative and unfounded policy."

"Our bilateral relations have reached a new low after the British government accused Russia of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Political contacts have been frozen by the British side. Russia is threatened by a new wave of sanctions. Alleged "Cyber threats from Russia" have again been exploited for political purposes," the embassy said in response to the establishment of The Russia Co-ordination Group.

The effort by British politicians to keep tabs on Russia and the "growing threat" it poses via the new inter-committee group won't help changing tense relations between the two nations — quite to the contrary, the embassy added. That is despite many Brits actually opposing the government's policy on Russia. 

Ties between Moscow and Britain have been strained, following the poisoning of the former Russian intelligence officer Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. London was quick to accuse Moscow of being behind the poisoning with the use of the A234 nerve agent. Russia has refuted all allegations and pointed at the complete lack of evidence provided to support such claims. 

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