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Czechs accede to European centre for countering hybrid threats

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Helsinki, May 21 (CTK correspondent) – The Czech Republic has joined the activities of the European centre for countering hybrid threats that is seated in Helsinki, Czech PM Andrej Babis, on a visit to Finland, told a press conference after meeting his counterpart Juha Sipila on Monday.

In the centre, established in 2017, experts from many European countries and the USA deal with methods of the protection against untraditional methods of fight.

The Czechs are the 16th country to have joined the centre’s operation.

Babis said Finland ranks among the leaders in the protection against hybrid threats and that access to information in this field means a significant contribution for the Czechs.

He said the Helsinki centre is a platform where the best experts from individual countries, the EU and NATO have joined their efforts.

“Concrete cooperation rests in the exchange of personnel…for us to find out what methods they apply in tackling hybrid threats and what their strategic approach is,” Ales Chmelar, Czech state secretary for EU affairs, told journalists.

The Centre is trying to raise the public awareness of hybrid threats by, for example, organising seminars and courses, which are also aimed at state officials and journalists, its director Matti Saarelainen said.

He said for Finland, the current biggest danger is the spreading of untrue information.

One the of ways to fight in the information war is to take an active approach. [For the allies], it is necessary to show that they have their own approach based on values of their own, Saarelainen said.

On the Czech side, the Centre’s partner institution is the Defence Ministry.

From Prague’s point of view, the cooperation will mainly focus on countering the spread of disinformation and on the protection against cyber attacks, a field in which the Czechs can offer their own methods.

On behalf of Prague, the memorandum of cooperation was signed by ambassador Ivan Jukl.

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