Salisbury poisonings show how 'reckless' Russia can be, says GCHQ chief

Jeremy Fleming's first speech was at the CYBERUK 18 conference, hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre

Jeremy Fleming's first speech was at the CYBERUK 18 conference, hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The head of government intelligence agency GCHQ has used his first public speech to warn that the Salisbury nerve agent poisonings shows how "reckless" Russia can be.

Ex-MI5 agent Jeremy Fleming said: "For decades, we have collected intelligence on Russian state capabilities, on their intent and posture.

"And for over 20 years, we've monitored and countered the growing cyber threat they pose to the UK and our allies.

"This has never gone away. But nevertheless, recent events are particularly stark and shocking.

"You've heard it said, and I'll repeat, the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury was the first time a nerve agent had been deployed in Europe since the Second World War.

"It demonstrates how reckless Russia is prepared to be.

"How little the Kremlin cares for the international rules-based order. How comfortable they are at putting ordinary lives at risk.

"The robust response from the UK and from the international community shows the Kremlin that illegal acts have consequences. And it looks like our expertise on Russia will be in increasing demand.

"We'll continue to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour, so they're held accountable for what they do, and to help government and industry protect themselves.

"The UK will continue to respond to malicious cyber activity in conjunction with international partners such as the United States. We will attribute where we can. And whilst we face an emboldened Russia, we also see the tectonic plates in the Middle East moving.

"We see Iran and its proxies meddling throughout the region. The use of Chemical Weapons in Syria. We're watching the dispersal of Daesh fighters."

Mr Fleming was speaking at the CYBERUK 18 conference in Manchester, hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre.

Comments