MOSCOW -- The British and American secret services are trying to influence the political situation in Russia via the Baltic states, according to Nikolai Patrushev, head of Russia's own FSB secret service, successor to the KGB.
In an interview with the Russian Arguments and Facts newspaper, Patrushev becomes the latest Kremlin insoder to hark back to a cold war mentality.
"Regardless of the global changes that happened in late 1980s and early 1990s, the special services of NATO member states have continued their activities in relation to Russia," Patrushev said.
"The United Kingdom should be distinguished from other countries, because its secret services are not only involved in intelligence activities on all fronts, but are also trying to influence domestic developments in Russia," the FSB chief added.
"The CIA and MI6 continue to make their partners in Poland, Georgia, the Baltic states, and some others work in the Russian direction," Patrushev said.
The FSV chief attributed the intelligence activities of the former Soviet republics to the fact that "US and British special services exert serious influence on the special agencies of these and some other Eastern European countries. This concerns a variety of issues ranging from training staff and budget distribution, to the choice of strategic areas of activity and the direct organization of joint intelligence operations," the FSB chief believes.
"Assuming the interests of 'senior partners' and pressing political motives, these intelligence services carry out operations that go far beyond national interests," Patrushev said.
"Russian citizens are recruited and operations to contact agents are conducted on the territories of these countries. At the same time, some US and British allies act in a rather aggressive manner. Moreover, some Georgian intelligence officers have ties with crime barons and use them more often in intelligence operations and various provocations," he said.
"Turkish special services strive to enter and strengthen their positions in the political elite and among well-known businessmen in Russia's Muslim regions. Pakistani intelligence services are trying to secure access to military and dual-use technologies as well as obtain information about Russia's military and technical cooperation with a number of countries," the FSB director said.
In short, it seems that everyone around Russia's borders is hell-bent on undermining the nation by fair means or foul - which is likely to promote just the sort of national paranoia that will play well in the forthcoming Russian elections.