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SIS: Foreign countries try to impact public opinion

The intelligence agency focuses on, among other things, tense relations between Russia and the West and related propaganda activities.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: AP/TASR)

The Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency registers the problem of hybrid threats and also activities of foreign countries influencing public opinion in Slovakia.

It already pointed to this phenomenon in its annual report for 2015.

“Back in 2015 there was an effort of several foreign intelligence services to infiltrate into central state administration bodies and security forces,” the report reads, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

SIS also noticed the increase in activities influencing public opinions, particularly in the context of the ongoing tension in relations between Russia and the West. It did not focus only on Russian efforts, but also the subjects that actively participated in it. SIS thus monitored the changes in domestic and foreign politics of the Russian Federation, especially in connection with its involvement in Ukraine and Syria, as well as propaganda activities towards the West.

“It is understandable that the attention to Slovakia could change both quantitatively and qualitatively, particularly in connection with Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council, but also with Brexit and current developments in eastern Ukraine or Syria,” said SIS spokesperson Branislav Zvara, as quoted by SITA.

Read also: Read also:Propaganda tactics remains the same

The intelligence agency actively collaborates with its partner agencies in EU and NATO member states, as well as other Slovak security forces.

“We responded to the challenges the security forces have to face also by creating the National Security Analytic Centre,” Zvara said, as quoted by SITA.

He refused to comment on other details due to the relations with the foreign partners.

President Andrej Kiska also talked about hybrid threats and Kremlin propaganda during the conference evaluating foreign policy in 2016, held in mid-March. Many problems we are currently facing result from the hybrid war, spreading disinformation and half-truths via social networks; the aim of Kremlin propaganda is to deform the truth, incite insecurity and doubt liberal democracy, Kiska claimed.

He also criticised Slovakia and its official security forces for doing a little to fight the hybrid war and targeted propaganda, as reported by SITA.

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