‘Reckless’ Russia’s power is in decline, says British spy chief – POLITICO
“Reckless” Russia’s actions are worrying but Moscow’s power is in decline, according to the new chief of Britain’s foreign intelligence service.
MI6 boss Richard Moore pointed to heightened tension over Ukraine and last week’s reports that Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, blew up a Czech arms factory as causes of concern.
“When you get that pattern of reckless behaviour, of course you then look at what is happening around Ukraine and of course it worries us,” Moore said in an interview Sunday with Times Radio.
Last week, Moscow announced it would recall almost 100,000 troops from the Ukraine border, de-escalating tensions amid concerns of a full-blown invasion. Moore said that the U.K. and United States had warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of the damage an invasion could cause.
Despite the concerns, Moore said Moscow’s power is waning.
“Russia is an objectively declining power economically and demographically,” he said. “It is an extremely challenged place. And clearly the treatment of Alexei Navalny, as we saw with the thousands of protesters on the streets of … a number of cities, shows that there is a deal of disaffection with Mr Putin.” Opposition leader Navalny was imprisoned in February and has been on hunger strike to protest his treatment.
Moore — the first head of the service to ever give a broadcast interview — also revealed that MI6 is checking up on countries’ green commitments.
“Of course we have a role in that space,” he said. “Where people sign up to commitments on climate change, it is perhaps our job to make sure that actually what they are really doing reflects what they have signed up to.”