EU must stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with UK to stand up to Putin, warns Hunt | Politics | News – UK



In a speech at the start of his first to Washington as Foreign Secretary, the Tory Cabinet minister is to call for Western allies to speak with “one voice” in response to Kremlin aggression.

And he will call for Russia to be hit with more international sanctions in response to the Novichock poisoning attack in Salisbury earlier this year.

“Of course we must engage with Moscow, but we must also be blunt: Russia’s foreign policy under President Putin has made the world a more dangerous place,” Mr Hunt is expected to say in his speech at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.

“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.

“That means calling out and responding to transgressions with one voice whenever and wherever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the fate of Crimea.”

EU nations including Germany and France were among dozens of countries that expelled Russian diplomats following March’s Novichok nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

A British woman, Dawn Sturgess, has also died after being poisoned with the chemical.

But ministers are concerned that some European leaders have been softening in their attitude towards President Putin’s regime.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently urged Russia to work “hand in hand” with Europe while the Italian government has questioned whether sanctions imposed over the 2014 annexation of Crimea should continue.

German Chancellor became the latest European leader to meet Mr Putin last week.

Mr Hunt will today accuse the Kremlin of flouting international order.

“The established rules of international conduct are repeatedly being flouted by major countries like Russia,” he is expected to say.

“Such aggressive and malign behaviour undermines the international order that keeps us safe.”

The Foreign Secretary’s three-day visit to the United States will also see him hold talks with senior Trump administration officials including secretary of state Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and Jared Kushner, the president’s advisor and son-in-law, Downing Street said.

Among the discussion topics are Iran, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and the Middle East peace process, the Foreign Office said.

He will then travel to New York, where on Thursday he is due to address the United Nations Security Council and discuss the fight against Islamic State.

He is also due to discuss humanitarian issues with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.