The article, by Jonathan Strong, is rife with scaremongering, anonymously sourced accusations.
Speculation that the two are now set for a longer term relationship is rife, but it may be wide of the mark.
Speculation is now rife that either “business interests” or foreign secret services—most probably Russian—are behind such efforts.
Old English rife "abundant, common, prevalent," from Proto-Germanic *rif- (cf. Old Norse rifr, Swedish river, Norwegian riv, Middle Dutch riif, Middle Low German rive "abundant, generous"), said to be from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" "The prevalence of the word in early southern texts is in favour of its being native in English, rather than an adoption from Scandinavian." [OED]