- Theresa May ramps up her war of words with Russia as she labels it a “hostile state.”
- The prime minister claims Russia is attempting to tear Europe apart.
- May insists UK remains committed to European security despite leaving the EU.
- May has accused Russia of attempting to “sow discord” in the west while launching a “fake news” war.
LONDON – Theresa May will today warn that Russia is attempting to tear Europe apart as she labels the country a “hostile state”
The Prime Minister will tell the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels that European countries must be “open-eyed” to the threat from Russia.
“From agriculture in Ukraine to the tech sector in Belarus – there is a huge amount of potential in the Eastern neighbourhood that we should nurture and develop,” she will say.
“But we must also be open-eyed to the actions of hostile states like Russia which threaten this potential and attempt to tear our collective strength apart.”
May will use insist that Britain remains committed to working together with other European countries, despite its decision to leave the European Union.
“This summit highlights the crucial importance of the European countries working together to protect our shared values and ideals,” she will say.
“The UK may be leaving the EU but we are not leaving Europe, and we are unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security.”
War of words
May’s comments are the latest in growing war of words between the UK and Russia. Last week May accused Russia of launching a “fake news” war against the West in order to “sow discord” and “meddle in elections.”
The prime minister said the West needed to tackle Putin’s regime, which she said had become the biggest threat facing “open economies and free societies” across the globe.
“[Russia] is seeking to weaponise information. Deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions,” May said.
“So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us.”
May accused Russia of engaging in a growing range of hostile actions against European countries and called on them to join the UK in doing “what is necessary to protect ourselves” against Russian attacks.
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who has previously urged the UK government to work more closely with Russia, is due to visit the country in the coming months.