Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted Russia and Vladimir Putin, as well as non-state organisations, are trying to use the coronavirus crisis to their advantage. While on Sky News with Kay Burley, Mr Raab also warned of China using the crisis to excel their global goals. He noted the UK is constantly preparing itself for cyber-attacks and other forms of international interference despite the challenges of coronavirus.
Ms Burley asked: “Do you think that Russia could have intervened or had any interference with coronavirus and how we have dealt with it in the UK?”
The Foreign Secretary admitted that he did believe coronavirus impacting the UK has presented an opportunity to foreign powers to attack the UK
Mr Raab replied: “I certainly think coronavirus and the challenges that it has caused has created an opportunity or perceived opportunity for various different states and non-state actors through cyber and other means.
“I think we have seen it in relation to Hong-Kong.”
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Ms Burley demanded that Mr Raab be more succinct with his answers and asked again whether Russia or China has played a role in the way the UK has handled coronavirus.
She said: “Are you saying that they could have been involved?
“Are you saying they could have interfered with the way we dealt with COVID-19 or not?”
Mr Raab hit back: “What I am saying is I don’t think they have made a material difference in our response in health terms.
While not outright insisting Western nations cut ties with China, he argued Governments should stand up to the country.
Mr Elwood said: “It is very clear that President Xi Jinping has got the job for life.
“He is pursuing a very different direction of travel and they are utilising their strength in technology, economy and its military.
“We have perhaps lost touch of what we once fought hard for and China is taking full advantage of that.”