UK PM Theresa May accuses Russian Federation of meddling in election, cyber espionage

Theresa May delivered an outspoken attack on Vladimir Putin at the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet

In a lengthy charge-sheet of actions that she said risked provoking "dangerous and unpredictable" conflicts, Mrs May accused Russian Federation directly of meddling in elections.

She told Moscow: "We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed", May added.

"Russia can, and I hope one day will, choose this different path".

The Massandra winery near Yalta is Ukrainian government property, but new managers took over after Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

The pair cracked open a bottle of sherry from 1775, worth £60,000, during their tour of the firm.

"It is seeking to weaponise information".

Meanwhile, NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid that Spain is the latest country to accuse the Kremlin of spreading fake news aimed at disrupting politics: Lauren tells our Newscasts unit that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says that more than half of social media site accounts spreading "disinformation" about Catalonia have been traced to Russian Federation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has launched a blistering attack on what she called Russia's efforts to "sow discord in the West", putting Moscow on notice: "We know what you are doing and you will not succeed".

Russia's activities include "deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images", she said.

"The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise". The comments risk raising tensions with President Trump, who drew criticism last week for saying that he believed Mr Putin's denial that Russian Federation had interfered in the USA presidential race.

Mrs May also used her speech to reveal Britain is bolstering its protection of the financial industry from cyber attacks. On Monday night, Mrs May accused Moscow of "planting fake stories" to "sow discord in the West".She said Vladimir Putin's government was trying to "undermine free societies".Russian senators accused the UK PM of "making a fool of herself" with a "counterproductive" speech.But the top United States diplomat in the UK, Woody Johnson, said countries engaging in such behaviour needed to be "called out".President Donald Trump's newly appointed ambassador to the UK told BBC News that Mrs May "probably has evidence" of Russian meddling and she had "every right" to draw attention to it.

May evoked the hope that greeted the fall of the Soviet Union, saying Britain and Russian Federation should not be "in a state of perpetual confrontation", and announced that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will visit Moscow in the coming months for talks.

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