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Russia wants to ‘destroy’ the West – EU state’s top spy

Russia is a major threat to NATO and all Western nations, the head of the Czech Security Information Service (BIS), Michal Koudelka, told the nation’s lawmakers last week. On Monday, his agency published an annual report naming Russia, China, and Iran as nations involved in “intelligence and subversive activities” targeting the Czech Republic.

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Russia is a major threat to NATO and all Western nations, the head of the Czech Security Information Service (BIS), Michal Koudelka, told the nation’s lawmakers last week. On Monday, his agency published an annual report naming Russia, China, and Iran as nations involved in “intelligence and subversive activities” targeting the Czech Republic. 

“Russia has branded us as its enemy. And Russia wants to destroy its enemy, that is us, NATO and the Western community,” Koudelka told a panel of intelligence officials and experts hosted by the Czech parliament last week. Moscow “will use all the means, all the possibilities it has” to achieve this goal, he claimed. 

Koudelka also said that Russia’s activities threaten “the united action of [EU] member states” against Russia itself, calling this one of the “biggest risks” the Western community is facing when it comes to Moscow. He believes Russia is seeking to convince the bloc’s citizens that its energy supplies are essential for Europe’s well-being and that the sanctions on Russia harm Western Europeans more than Russians.

The annual report for 2021, which the BIS presented this week, also named Russia and China as major security threats. It focused on Moscow’s alleged efforts to bolster “pro-Russian activists,” “extend its pool of pro-Russian journalists,” and create “alternative media content,” supposedly to push “Russian propaganda.”  

Beijing was also accused of attempting to “exert influence” on the Czech Republic to promote “Chinese foreign policies to the detriment of Czech national interests,” particularly when it comes to relations with Taiwan. Both Russia and China were accused of “state-sponsored cyberespionage” activities in the Czech Republic, EU, and NATO. 

Neither Moscow nor Beijing has so far commented on Koudelka’s statements and the BIS report. Relations between Russia and Western nations are extremely strained due to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, in which the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere have supported Ukraine with financial and military aid. 

The Czech Republic took a tough stance against Russia at the start of the conflict by taking part in all Western sanctions on Moscow, barring Russians from entering the country, and becoming one of the few Western nations to send their Soviet-made battle tanks to Ukraine.

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