Priti Patel vows to shield Britain from Russia’s malign influence – ‘Irrefutable risk!’

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The UK Home Secretary has issued a grim warning to Russia as the situation in Ukraine remains critical. She wrote: “As Home Secretary, keeping the British public safe remains my number one priority and I will continue to discuss with my Five Eyes counterparts – as well as other allies – the further collective action we can take to protect our homeland security.

“The UK continues to work tirelessly alongside our allies to persuade Russia to step back from the brink, ensuring that we support the sovereignty of Ukraine, as well as protect ourselves at home and British nationals in Ukraine.

“We and our allies urge Russia to de-escalate, re-engage and choose the path of diplomacy.

“A further Russian military incursion would be not only a strategic mistake, but a political, military, humanitarian and financial disaster with nothing but tragic conclusions.”

While accusing Russia of spreading “disinformation”, Ms Patel also warned it of the cyberattacks.

She said: “We are already seeing an escalation of Russian information operations clearly intended to provide a pretext for military action against Ukraine and we should expect to see more of this as the crisis develops, including information warfare and cyber attacks aimed at the West.

“The UK Government Information Cell has brought together our counter-disinformation expertise to identify and tackle Russian information aggression targeted at the UK.

“Our National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has confirmed that past Russian cyber activity has included attempted interference against UK media, telecommunications and energy infrastructure, and cyber criminals in Russia have targeted well-known firms in recent high-profile attacks.”

She recently scrapped the “golden visa” scheme for wealthy foreign investors in a crackdown on corruption.

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The announcement came amid concerns about Russia’s influence in the UK as tensions rise about a potential invasion of Ukraine.

Talking about the move, Ms Patel wrote: “I am committed to taking the strongest action possible to prevent criminals, kleptocrats and corrupt elites from exploiting our financial system and threatening our national security.

“Dirty money and corruption are at the heart of the Russian government and I will not accept the business model of stealing in Russia to spend abroad in places like the UK.

“That is why I have closed the golden visa scheme for good to eliminate the opportunity for people to pay their way into the country.

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“We are intensifying our response to illicit financial flows, including from Russia, such as bringing forward legislation to unmask ownership of offshore properties in the UK.”

Sending out warning signals to Russia, Ms Patel made it clear that “dirty money linked to the Kremlin is not welcome in this country” and she “will use all the powers at disposal against individuals who seek to harm our democracy and our people.”



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