British Prime Minister, Theresa May has taken a strong approach to Russia’s foreign policies. Over the course of her speech she stated that the UK would continue to protect Europe and issued a thinly veiled warning to Putin.
The Prime Minister stated that the UK would continue to play an important diplomatic role in the EU’s workings even after Brexit. She added that Europe needed to remain committed to protecting its economies and its societies in the face of Russian threats.
May made her comments at a foreign policy address held at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet. Over the course of her speech she stated that the UK would remain “unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security”. She added that the “comprehensive new economic partnership” that the UK sought with Europe would “underpin” their “shared commitment” to open economies and free societies.
May did not mince words as she stated that the chief threat to the “partnership” was Russian interference. She stated that Russia’s “illegal annexation of Crimea” was the first time, since the time of the Second World War that “one sovereign nation” had “forcibly” taken a territory from another, in Europe.
She continued her speech to point out that Russia had repeatedly violated national airspace of several countries and had indulged in “cyber-espionage and disruption”.
The UK Prime Minister went on to accuse Russia of attempting to “weaponize information” and criticized Moscow’s meddling in the U.S. Presidential elections.
She pointed out other instances where Russia had interfered in another country’s workings, citing Denmark and Germany as examples.
In the past, Russia has been guilty of hacking into Denmark’s defense ministry, and the German parliament. She also spoke of Russia’s prolonged attempt to “sow discord in the West”.
May concluded her speech on a positive note. She stated that she had a simple message for Russia, she daringly stated that Russia would not succeed in its attempts.
She stated that Russia had underestimated the “resilience” of the Western democracies. She added that the UK would do “what is necessary” to protect themselves, and would join hands with its allies to do the same.