– It should be assumed that the opponent is capable of an unconventional attack. The probability increases along with the number of alarming premises in the case of Russia and its interest in critical infrastructure in Europe – said in an interview with the portal BiznesAlert.pl dr hab. Tomasz Aleksandrowicz, a professor at the Higher Police School in Szczytno.
Awareness and readiness
American media reported that Russian intelligence is interested in energy facilities in the US. – This is not new information, but the events associated with the attempt to poison the double agent Sergei Skripal change the optics. Of course, they know about Russian interests counterintelligence services, which probably monitored the activities of this agency. After tightening of relations with Russia, it was decided to disclose this type of information – said prof. Aleksandrowicz.
When asked about the protection of energy infrastructure objects and plans for the implementation of new projects, he stressed that this is a task “and its implementation should be addressed and probably is -” for example counterintelligence, through cooperation with NATO alliance intelligences. – This is primarily about the flow of information. If we are talking about energy infrastructure, e.g. Polish Power Grids, then there is also a security division dealing with such issues. It includes personal safety, i.e. checking whether the people employed in the company meet the security criteria. These types of protections existed and exist, but the question is whether they will be effective – he stressed.
BiznesAlert.pl asked if Russia already has the strength and technical means necessary for a possible attack at this stage. The expert emphasized that “nobody has any knowledge other than the Russians themselves, but it should be assumed that they are already capable of doing so”. – All premises indicate that they are already ready to attack critical infrastructure, including energy infrastructure in Europe. We must assume that they are ready for such an attack, and we must be aware of it and ready for it, both on the defensive side, i.e. repulsion of such attack and offensive. It is about activities that will allow us to identify the aggressor and carry out contractions. This is the basis of functioning in cyberspace today.
Return to the Cold War
When asked about a spy who was interested in the Ministry of Energy, Aleksandrowicz said that these are operational activities „implicit by definition”. – After the attempted assassination of Sergey Skripal, the United Kingdom may give new impetus to the implementation of new sanctions. The question, however, is what they should be. The reaction of the United Kingdom to the attempted murder of Skripal was much more acute than in the case of Alexander Litvinenko, although the then head of the Ministry of the Interior was Theresa May, the current prime minister. At that time, she was accused of seeking to extinguish this matter and a dispute with Russia. Today, the reaction is stronger. Great Britain has asked for help from other NATO countries – said prof. Aleksandrowicz. He reminded that the United Kingdom itself had expelled 24 diplomats, and most of the NATO and EU countries, in a gesture of solidarity, expelled some of the employees of Russian embassies from their territory. – This is an unprecedented situation, even according to the standards of the Cold War, although not all countries have made such a decision – emphasizes prof. Aleksandrowicz. – This reaction is strong, but it can be even stronger and refers to the situation from the Cold War period – said prof. Higher Police School in Szczytno.