British Defence Minister warns Russian Federation about high price for provocations

Leroy Wright
February 13, 2019

Brexit supporters say the decision to leave the European Union will provide a chance for Britain to take on a new global role.

He will describe the boundaries between peace and war as becoming "blurred" and say that Britain and its allies had to be ready "to use hard power to support our interests".

"Since the new global great game will be played on a global playing field, we must be prepared compete for our interests and our values far, far from home", he said.

Williamson detailed plans to modernise the armed forces, and said it must increase its "mass and lethality".

In his speech in London, Williamson did not announce any new funding beyond what was allocated at a 2018 budget.

Mr Williamson will also fuel speculation about his leadership ambitions with a pitch aimed at Tory Brexiteers, arguing that leaving the European Union gives the United Kingdom an "unparalleled opportunity" to consider its role in the world.

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank here on Monday, Williamson said the 65,000-tonne carrier Queen Elizabeth - which was commissioned in 2017 - would also make appearances in the Mediterranean and the Middle East along the way, reports CNN.

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In August, the Royal Navy's HMS Albion, an amphibious assault ship, passed through Chinese-claimed areas in the South China Sea en route to Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, prompting a furious response from Beijing.

The British defense Secretary Gavin Williamson believes that after leaving the EU, London should be ready to expand its military presence overseas, and to take action against countries that violate worldwide laws.

Britain is one of only a handful of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries who meet the alliance's target to spend 2 percent of output on defense.

"The alliance also must develop its ability to handle the kind of provocations that Russian Federation is throwing at us", he said. It was Washington's main battlefield ally in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with more than 600 troops killed.

"Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost", Williamson will say in the speech, extracts of which Reuters has seen.

"To talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger", he will add.

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