SIBYLLINE SITUATION UPDATE BRIEF: UK – RUSSIA. DEMOCRATIC AND FINANCIAL STRUCTURES REMAIN VULNERABLE TO INTERFERENCE

Key Takeaways

The UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee published its report on Russian interference in British democratic processes on 21 July, concluding that the government has failed to launch an investigation into the issue, despite evidence that such interference is taking place.

The government’s subsequent refusal to launch an inquiry in light of the report’s findings has raised concerns that the issue of Russian interference has become politicised, undermining the government’s and security service’s ability to protect British democratic processes.

The Report’s emphasis on “unwitting” facilitators of Russian influence will raise reputational risks for firms in exposed sectors. Meanwhile, the UK’s popularity with Russian investors and the government’s reticence to probe the extent of their influence will sustain money laundering concerns.

Lastly, following the sanctioning of 25 Russian officials over the death of Sergei Magnitsky earlier this month, any British attempt to combat Russian interference and money laundering operations will likely increase the risk of Russian counter sanctions or cyber attacks targeting British firms.

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