The Defense Secretary said the Allies had to “prepare for the worst” in close diplomatic talks with Russia as he pledged Britain “will stand up to bullies” amid fears of an invasion of the United States. ‘Ukraine
Ben Wallace speaking at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, said the distance should “not deter Britain” from seeking to “defend those who cannot defend themselves” when the West is confronting Russia for its “aggression” against its neighbor.
On Monday, there appeared to be no progress in high-stakes talks in Geneva between US and Russian diplomats as the two grapple with Ukraine and other security concerns.
There has been a Russian military build-up of tens of thousands of troops massing near the border with Ukraine, with talks between Washington and Moscow aimed at defusing the crisis before it escalates into a full-fledged military conflict.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov insisted that Moscow had “no intention of invading Ukraine”, but Wallace said he remained “concerned” about the behavior of the Russian Federation. Kremlin.
Addressing a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former Scots Guards captain said history was “littered with the consequences of those who underestimated this small island” as he suggested the UK would not back down given the “scale of the challenge” in Eastern Europe.
Mr Wallace said: “Everyone is aware of events in Europe this week, and earlier I informed the House of our concern about Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and the simplistic efforts to deflect attention with false claims and narratives about NATO expansionism.
“So while we hope for the best results from this week’s diplomatic efforts, we should not be overly optimistic and prepare for the worst.
“The parallels to 40 years ago hardly need to be articulated, but for me the most valuable are the threats to our country, our people, our allies and our territory come from any direction and at any time.
“We must always be prepared and we must always invest in our armed forces for the long term.
“Our enemies should not doubt Britain’s determination to stand up to bullies, to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves and for our values.
“Distance shouldn’t deter Britain, nor should the scale of the challenge, and history is littered with the consequences of those who underestimated this small island.”
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) also urged Russia to “end its acts of aggression”, reiterating its warning of “high costs” for any invasion of Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the department said: “The UK is working closely with our allies and partners, including the US, to make it clear to Russia that we will not accept its campaign to topple its neighbors. democrats.
“Russia must stop its acts of aggression and continue on the path of diplomacy.
“We are united with our allies and partners in condemning Russia’s threatening behavior and we will honor Russia’s commitments in Helsinki, Budapest and Minsk.
“Any military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with significant costs.
“At the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, the UK, along with our allies, will tell Russia that its military build-up on Ukraine’s borders is completely unacceptable.”