THERESA May launched an attack on Vladimir Putin tonight accusing Russia of using fake news to "undermine the West".
The Prime Minister warned of a Kremlin bid to "weaponise information" and made an "unconditional" pledge to maintain European security post Brexit.
The PM said Moscow was the biggest threat to Europe’s security as she listed its illegal land grab of Crimea, its violation of foreign nations’ airspace and its “sustained campaign of espionage and disruption” as chief among its crimes.
Warning of the "scale and nature" of the threat posed by Russia as she addressed the Lord Mayor's Banquet at the City of London's Guildhall, Mrs May said: "The UK will remain unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe's security.
"And the comprehensive new economic partnership we seek will underpin our shared commitment to open economies and free societies in the face of those who seek to undermine them.
"Chief among those today, of course, is Russia."
Mrs May spoke of Russia's "sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption", including "meddling in elections" and hacking foreign ministries and parliaments.
She said Moscow was planting fake news and "photo-shopped images" in an attempt to "sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions".
In a show of strength Mrs May continued: "We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed.
"Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us.
"The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise."Theresa May slams Russia for using fake news to 'undermine the West'
Her words were in stark contrast to the stance taken by Donald Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed claims Russia meddled in the US election.
Mrs may also used her speech to reveal Britain is bolstering its protection of the financial industry from cyber attacks.
And she announced that the Government was looking into tightening financial regimes to ensure profits of corruption cannot flow to Russia.
She said: “The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise.”
Stressing the need to improve relations the PM said the UK and Russia should not be "in a state of perpetual confrontation", and announced that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will visit Moscow in the coming months for talks.
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Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4907361/theresa-may-russia-fake-news-accusation/