LONDON, April 15. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin was summoned by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on Thursday over reports of alleged cyber attacks carried out by Russia and the build-up of Russian armed forces on the border with Ukraine, a statement published by the Foreign Office informs.
"The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has summoned the Russian Ambassador over the United Kingdom’s deep concern at a pattern of malign activity, including cyber intrusions, interference in democratic processes, and the build-up of military forces near the Ukrainian border and in illegally-annexed Crimea," the statement reads. Kelin had a conversation with FCDO Permanent Under Secretary Sir Philip Barton.
"At today’s Summons, FCDO Permanent Under Secretary Sir Philip Barton made clear the UK’s support for the actions announced by President Biden in response to Russia’s recent activity," a FCDO spokesperson said. "He set out the UK assessment that the Russian Intelligence Services were behind the SolarWinds compromise. He informed the Ambassador that the UK will continue to work with our allies to call out and counter malign operations by the Russian Intelligence Services."
"Sir Philip also stated the UK’s concern at the build up of Russian military forces near the Ukrainian border and illegally-annexed Crimea. These activities are threatening and destabilising. Russia needs to cease its provocations and de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations," the spokesperson added.
SolarWinds cyber attack
As was reported earlier, the SolarWinds Orion platform was hacked in March this year. The hackers introduced malware into the Orion software update that was subsequently downloaded and used by thousands of SolarWinds clients, including leading government agencies as well as 400 major US companies.
Russia has numerously officially rejected Washington’s claims of Moscow’s complicity in the recent cyberattack in the United States through the SolarWinds platform.
Earlier, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Moscow is not involved in cyber attacks on US government bodies and companies. Peskov also noted that the movement of Russian troops on Russian territory should not be of any concern to other states. The spokesman stressed that these movements do not pose a threat to other countries.
Situation in Ukraine
In recent days, Western countries have repeatedly voiced concern over the Ukrainian military officials’ speculations claiming that Russia was building up forces along the border with Ukraine. As Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier, Russian troop movements inside the country should not worry other countries, because they posed no threat to them. Also, he stressed that the events in Donbass were an internal affair of Ukraine, in which Russian forces had never taken part.
Tensions in Donbass surged at the end of February, with fire exchanges involving mortars and grenade launchers registered every day. The conflict sides blame each other for the aggravation of the situation.