Moscow designated NATO and Western nations as its “enemy,” Czech intelligence chief Michal Koudelka has claimed
Russia is a major threat to NATO and all Western nations in general, the head of the Czech Security Information Service (BIS), Michal Koudelka, told the nation’s lawmakers last week. On Monday, his agency published an annual report naming Russia, China, and Iran as nations involved in “intelligence and subversive activities” targeting the Czech Republic.
“Russia has branded us as its enemy. And Russia wants to destroy its enemy, that is us, NATO and the Western community,” Koudelka told a panel of intelligence officials and experts hosted by the Czech parliament last week. Moscow “will use all the means, all the possibilities it has” to supposedly achieve this goal, he claimed.
Koudelka also said that Russia’s activities particularly threatened “the united action of [the EU] member states” against Russia itself, naming it one of the “biggest risks” the Western community is facing when it comes to Moscow. He believes Russia seeks to convince the Europeans that its energy supplies are essential for Europe’s well-being and that anti-Russian sanctions harm Europeans more than Russians.
An annual report for 2021, which the BIS presented this week, also named Russia and China among the major security threats. While stopping short of accusing Russia of attempts to “destroy” the West or the Czech Republic in particular, it focused on Moscow’s alleged efforts to consolidate “pro-Russian activists,” “extend its pool of pro-Russian journalists,” and create “alternative media content” supposedly for the benefit of “Russian propaganda.”
Beijing, in turn, was also accused of attempts to “exert influence” on the Czech Republic to promote “Chinese foreign policies to the detriment of Czech national interests,” particularly when it comes to relations with Taiwan. Both Russia and China were also accused of “state-sponsored cyberespionage” activities in the Czech Republic, the EU, and NATO.
Neither Moscow nor Beijing has so far commented on Koudelka’s statements and the BIS report. The developments come as relations between Russia and Western nations are extremely strained due to the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, in which the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere have supported Ukraine with both financial and military aid.
The Czech Republic took a tough stance on Russia at the start of the conflict by joining all Western sanctions against Moscow, barring Russians from entering Czech territory and becoming one of the few Western nations to send their Soviet-made battle tanks to Ukraine.