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NATO Chief: Russia ‘Secretly Working With Green NGOs To Oppose Fracking’

Press Association

Nato chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, says Moscow mounting disinformation campaign to maintain reliance on Russian gas

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at Chatham House in London

Russia is secretly working with environmental groups campaigning against fracking in an attempt to maintain Europe’s dependence on energy imports from Moscow, the secretary-general of Nato has said.

Speaking at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated disinformation campaign aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas.

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation,” he said.

Rasmussen did not say what form the Russians’ engagement with the environmentalists took or whether groups concerned were aware that they were dealing with Moscow’s agents.

He said that improving energy security was of the “utmost importance” and required European nations to develop more diverse sources of supply.

“It also, in my opinion, involves the better functioning of the European energy market so that one single supplier is not able to able to blackmail one single nation,” he said.

Mr Rasmussen’s claim that Russia was working with environmental groups to discredit fracking drew an angry response from Greenpeace.

Thirty activists and journalists on the group’s ship, Arctic Sunrise, were arrested by the Russian authorities and threatened with up to 15 years in jail last year after they staged an anti-drilling protest on a Russian offshore oil platform.

“The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at Nato HQ. Mr Rasmussen should spend less time dreaming up conspiracy theories and more time on the facts,” a Greenpeace spokesman said.

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