Russia report on interference in British democracy to be released tomorrow
20 July 2020, 16:15
A report looking into alleged Russian interference in British democracy will be released tomorrow just days after the government said it believed Russian hackers had meddled in the election.
The Intelligence and Security Committee report was originally prepared by members in the previous parliament, but publication was delayed by Boris Johnson calling an election.
This meant there would also be a need to re-establish the committee.
But with tomorrow's new release date of the hotly-anticipated report, it comes at a time when the UK's relations with Moscow are bowing under increasing strain.
Just last week, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was "almost certain" that Russia had interfered in last year's general election by "amplifying" stolen government papers.
The papers referred to were relating to US-UK trade talks that then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had picked up and stressed were evidence that the NHS was "up for sale" to American pharmaceutical companies.
Meanwhile, the UK, US and Canada said in a joint statement last week that they believed Russian intelligence-linked hackers had also tried to steal information relating to coronavirus vaccine research.
Russia has repeatedly denied the claims, with presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying they were "unacceptable".
Russia's ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, has also refuted all the claims on both cases, saying his country "does not see any point in interference".
He told the BBC: ""We do not interfere at all. We do not see any point in interference because for us, whether it will be [the] Conservative Party or Labour's party at the head of this country, we will try to settle relations and to establish better relations than now."
On the coronavirus claims, Mr Kelin said he didn't believe the claims at all, adding: "There is no sense in it."