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Philip Hammond calls Russia ‘single greatest threat’ to UK

Philip Hammond calls Russia ‘single greatest threat’ to UK
“We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it,” said Philip Hammond.

He said: “We are in familiar territory for anyone over the age of about 50, with Russia’s aggressive behaviour a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security.”

Hammond said Putin’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine “fundamentally undermine” the security
of eastern European states. In a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Hammond said for two decades since the end of the Cold War Britain has worked in a spirit of openness, generosity and partnership, to help Russia take its rightful place.

Hammond, who is the also minister responsible for Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service, said it was a major power contribution to global stability and order.

“We now have to accept that those efforts have been rebuffed,” he said. “It is no coincidence that all of our agencies are recruiting Russian speakers again.”

“The rapid pace with which Russia is seeking to modernise her military forces and weapons, combined with the increasingly aggressive stance of the Russian military, including Russian aircraft around the sovereign airspace of NATO members states, are all significant causes for concern,” he said.

Russia denies Western accusations that it backs the separatists fighting against government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Russia could not ‘abandon’ Crimea, says Putin

President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia took over Crimea because it had to protect Crimea’s mostly ethnic-Russian population after pro-Western Ukrainian nationalists came to power in Ukraine.
In the latest preview of an upcoming documentary called “Homeward bound” on state-run Rossiya-1 television, Putin portrayed Russia’s military takeover and annexation of the Ukrainian province as a rescue mission. “We were forced to start working on returning Crimea to Russia because we could not abandon this territory and the people who live there to the mercy of fate, to be crushed by nationalists, “ Putin said yesterday.

Putin pinned the blame for what Moscow calls a coup in Kiev on nationalists supported by Western countries “thousands of kilometres away.” 

“It wasn’t us who committed a coup d’etat, it was done by nationalists and people with extreme views, they were given support,” Putin said.

Agencies

Agencies

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