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Russia’s Hybrid Warfare, A Serious Threat: Czech NATO Ambassador

NATO, Russian Influence

Prague, Sept 2 (CTK) – Russia is increasingly using non-military hybrid methods, which confirms that Moscow realises the strength of the military guarantee NATO provides to its members, Czech ambassador to NATO Jiri Sedivy told CTK today.


The defence against hybrid attacks, may they come from anywhere, demands a good intelligence overview and quality experts ready to react to a specific threat, Sedivy said.


“Then there is the question of the long-term resilience to threats. On the material level, this means ensuring the basic functions for survival, even under a strong pressure or during a large-scale crisis. This means public order, foodstuffs, the basic medial care, energy supplies and the government communication means with the public,” he added.


“The second, immaterial question is equally vital. This is resilience to propaganda, the efforts to undermine the basic values of democracy, to weaken the trust in governmental institutions and to radicalise debates in society,” Sedivy said.


Sedivy said NATO did not directly intervene in the activities taking place in the virtual world. This is the responsibility of individual states.


In the sphere of sharing the experience from cyber security and fight against the spread of disinformation, NATO mainly collaborates with the EU.


“This is exactly the sphere in which we have perhaps the most promising cooperation with the EU, in the sense of information exchange and coordination of various activities,” Sedivy said.


He spoke about the EU expert team dealing with the disinformation spread by Russia and the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki.


“It must be added that the Czech Republic is active in this and that it is seen positively,” Sedivy said.


Hybrid methods of fights are no recent novelty, Sedivy said.


He said the activities of the Soviet Union in connection with the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 were a typical hybrid operation.


In it strategy, the present-day Russia is increasingly using non-military elements also because NATO has made it clear that it is ready to defend its members according to the collective defence principle, he added.


“Moscow realises very well the defence guarantees which were stressed by the concrete, though moderate steps of NATO in recent years, in particular the reinforced military presence in the Baltics,” Sedivy said.


“This shows that collective defence is trustworthy both politically and militarily,” he added.


Sedivy warned of a one-sided focus on Russia. Militant Islamism and terrorism it inspires are creating a very real and immediate threat, which also relates to Russia.


“The alliance would not be against the renewal of cooperation with Russia on problems of joint interest. However, this depends on the solution to the situation in Ukraine in harmony with international law,” he added.