Kremlin accuses Britain of ‘threatening’ European security
Moscow has warned London that by “pumping” Ukraine with weapons, Britain is undermining European security. The remark came after the British foreign secretary urged Western states to provide Ukraine with “heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes,” while also bolstering the defense capabilities of Moldova and Georgia.
Speaking to journalists by phone on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the “tendency itself to pump weapons, including heavy weapons, into Ukraine and other countries is something that threatens the continent’s security and provokes instability.”
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss delivered her keynote speech on Wednesday.
She argued against the view that “we shouldn’t provide heavy weapons for fear of provoking something worse,” insisting that “inaction would be the greatest provocation” in the current circumstances.
Truss claimed that the “architecture that was designed to guarantee peace and prosperity has failed Ukraine,” with the “economic and security structures that were developed after the Second World War and the Cold War” having been “bent out of shape.” This, she suggested, requires a “new approach” which “melds hard security and economic security” and contributes to the creation of “stronger global alliances.” The foreign secretary urged “free nations” to be “more assertive and self-confident” and build their strategies on the assumption that “geopolitics is back.”
Truss also proclaimed that the “war in Ukraine is our war,” with Kiev’s victory being a “strategic imperative” for Britain and its allies. She went on to call for “heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes” to be provided to Ukraine, adding that “we need to do all of this.”
In addition, the West “must ensure that, alongside Ukraine, the Western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom,” Truss emphasized.
According to the top UK diplomat, NATO should integrate Finland and Sweden “as soon as possible” if the two Nordic nations choose to join the military bloc.
In an apparent reference to Russia’s previous warnings, Truss described Britain as a “risk taker” which “has always stood up to bullies” and is “prepared be bold.”
The Kremiln’s response to those remarks follow Moscow’s repeated condemnation of NATO arms deliveries to Ukraine. Russia insists that the shipments only hamper the prospects for peace in the country. The Kremlin also made it clear that any military hardware deliveries would be considered a legitimate target once they cross into Ukraine.
“NATO is essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy. War means war,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.