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Britain lists Russia as major national security threat

Britain has listed Russia as one of its top-tier potential security threats alongside global terrorism and the Ebola virus.

UK’s security services published a draft of a new list of what they deem as possible threats to the country, the Express reported on Sunday.

Russia’s alleged aggression in Ukraine, the country’s vast military budget and President Vladimir Putin’s “willingness to display force” are all causes of concern.

“The last five years have seen a range of international developments, ranging from the growth of radicalization and fundamentalism to growing concerns around our energy supply, and rising aggression from Russia,” said the report.

The list also refers to China as a “threat” citing concerns over “authoritarianism and persistent human rights abuses on the part of the Chinese Government.”

The potentially devastating effects of global health issues such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa were also included in the list.

The report will be officially released by British Prime Minister David Cameron on November 23 and after a security review will become part of the government’s next national security strategy.

On Saturday, the US accused Moscow of being engaged in “challenging activities” at sea, in the air, in space and cyberspace.

“Most disturbing, Moscow’s nuclear saber-rattling raises questions about Russian leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their respect for norms against the use of nuclear weapons, and whether they respect the profound caution nuclear-age leaders showed with regard to the brandishing of nuclear weapons,” said US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

He added that the US military is planning to counter Russia’s “aggression” by adapting its “operational posture and contingency.”

Carter also expressed “deep” concerns about China’s growing influence and military power, saying its land reclamation bid in the South China Sea could trigger war in the Asia-Pacific region.

Relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War in 1991, largely due to the crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s air campaign against foreign-backed militants in Syria.

The US and its western allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow has long denied involvement in Ukraine’s crisis.

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