The embassy voiced concern over the “militaristic tone” of Williamson’s speech, saying that such rhetoric, portraying Moscow as an “aggressor”, aims to justify defence budget hikes.
UK Defence Secretary’s Speech
Gavin Williamson, in a Monday speech, urged NATO nations to live up to the 2-percent GDP defence spending commitment to boost collective capabilities and tackle the alleged threat of “resurgent” Russia.
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Williamson noted the “reviving” state-on-state competition as another challenge that had recently come to the fore along with international terrorism. Among the sources of concern, he mentioned “resurgent” Russia, which is “rebuilding its military arsenal and seeking to bring the independent countries of the former Soviet Union” into its orbit. He also mentioned China, which is developing modern military capabilities and commercial power.
“In NATO, we must stand firm against Russia’s non-compliance with the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty, if necessary being ready to deal with the threat that new Russian missile systems may pose. The alliance must develop its ability to handle the kind of provocations that Russia is throwing at us,” Williamson said.