UK will press US for tougher sanctions against Russia
Iran Press TV
Tue Aug 21, 2018 07:52AM
Britain's new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is set to push the United States into slapping tougher sanctions on Russia, in response to Moscow's "malign" behavior around the world.
In a visit to the US on Tuesday, the top UK diplomat aims to make efforts to garner allies support for tougher "sanctions against Russia".
In Hunt's first major speech since taking over from Boris Johnson, he will reiterate the "special relationship" between UK and US and ask allies to " stand shoulder to shoulder" against Moscow.
"And today the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US," Hunt is set to tell the audience at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.
Hunt will also urge the US-led NATO forces to take a tougher stance against Russia over its alleged use of a chemical agent novichok in the Salisbury poisonings and the reunion of Crimea.
He will say that the West must engage with Russia, yet be "blunt" about how the Russian president "has made the world a more dangerous place".
"[Russia's] aggressive and malign behavior undermines the international order that keeps us safe … we must engage with Moscow, but we must also be blunt … [Vladimir] Putin has made the world a more dangerous place."
Western nations must call "transgressions with one voice whenever and wherever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the fate of Crimea."
Earlier this month the United States, citing the Salisbury incident, imposed sanctions against Russia covering national-security related goods.
Washington has promised to increase the pressure until Moscow gave "reliable assurances" it would no longer use chemical weapons.
In addition, without directly challenging the legitimacy of Donald Trump's election as president in 2016, Hunt will specifically call for tighter regulation of online political advertising and new measures to prevent cyber attacks on electoral machinery.
Hunt will also throw out a challenge to Trump's protectionist policies by warning a weakening of free trade will only damage western economies, and ultimately western political power.
His speech later on Tuesday will also outline other issues of concern to Britain's foreign policy, including telling China that "with economic power comes political responsibility", and criticizing their inaction over chemical weapons and Crimea.
On Brexit, where negotiations have become bogged down as the deadline for reaching an exit deal with the EU approaches, Hunt will repeat a message he has been delivering to European leaders over the summer.
"The risk of a messy divorce, as opposed to the friendship we seek, would be a fissure in relations between European allies that would take a generation to heal... now is the time for the European Commission to engage with an open mind with the fair and constructive proposals made by the Prime Minister."
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