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Theresa May states Russian Federation has underestimated the "resilience" of Western democracies

14 November 2017

Addressing business figures at a banquet last evening, May said Vladimir Putin's government was trying to "undermine free societies" and urged him to step back from efforts to "weaponise information" through fake news, hacking and electoral interference.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May has taken a strong approach to Russia's foreign policies.

The prime minister said she wanted to relay a "very simple message" for Russian Federation, that the United Kingdom was aware of what it was doing and it will not succeed because European democracies will fight back. May, who has faced criticism over her perceived eagerness to gloss over differences with the USA and avoid steps that could jeopardise that relationship, told those gathered that Russia's actions threatened the global order, pointing to its annexation of Crimea, meddling in elections, and hacking the Danish Ministry of Defence and Germany's Bundestag. "Russian Federation can, and I hope one day will, choose this different path", she said.

She cited the use of disinformation and cyber warfare and Russia's alleged meddling in elections as proof of its aim to "undermine free societies".

Russia's Foreign Ministry has lashed back at British Prime Minister Theresa May, saying her attack on Russian Federation was an attempt to distract public attention from problems at home.

"The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise".

"We know what you are doing and you will not succeed".

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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. She has now switched the order and the focus is very much on beware.

But May sounded a conciliatory note, calling for ongoing engagement with Moscow and reiterating foreign secretary Boris Johnson will visit the country in the coming months.

"We will take the necessary action to counter Russian activity", Mrs May added.

"We do not want to return to the Cold War or to be in a state of perpetual confrontation".

Sharing a photograph of her from last night drinking a glass of wine, the tweet added: "Dear Theresa, we hope, one day you will try Crimean #Massandra red wine".

Ms. May's comments - the latest in a series of critical statements on the US including over its decision to withdraw from the Paris Treaty - comes amid a host of questions in Britain relating to Russian involvement in domestic politics.

Theresa May states Russian Federation has underestimated the