LONDON

The British government summoned the Russian ambassador on Thursday over the “deep concern about a pattern of malign behavior” by Russia.

A statement issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the ambassador was summoned because of concerns over the activities, “including cyber intrusions, interference in democratic processes, and the build-up of military forces near the Ukrainian border and in illegally-annexed Crimea.”

“The UK Government is deeply concerned about a pattern of malign behaviour by the Russian State,” an FCDO spokesperson said.

“At today’s Summons, FCDO Permanent Under Secretary Sir Philip Barton made clear the UK’s support for the actions announced by [US] President Biden in response to Russia’s recent activity.

“He set out the UK assessment that the Russian Intelligence Services were behind the SolarWinds compromise,” the statement added.

It said: “He informed the Ambassador that the UK will continue to work with our allies to call out and counter malign operations by the Russian Intelligence Services.

“Sir Philip also stated the UK’s concern at the build-up of Russian military forces near the Ukrainian border and illegally-annexed Crimea. These activities are threatening and destabilising. Russia needs to cease its provocations and de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations.”

An earlier statement from the British government said Russia remains the “most acute threat” to its national security, adding that it shared US concerns about a continuing pattern of Russian malign activities.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We see what Russia is doing to undermine our democracies.”

He added: “The UK and US are calling out Russia’s malicious behaviour to enable our international partners and businesses at home to better defend and prepare themselves against this kind of action.”

The UK statement followed the US decision to expel 10 Russian diplomats for alleged 2020 US presidential election interference and hacking.

The Biden administration on Thursday announced an executive order blacklisting six Russian technology companies in response to a cyberattack of SolarWinds that affected the US government agencies.

A total of 32 entities and individuals were also sanctioned by the US for their attempts to interfere in the US presidential election and other acts of disinformation.

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