Wallace: UK doesn't fear Russian reprisals for supporting Ukraine – Messenger Newspapers

Russia has been an “active adversary” of the United Kingdom for a number of years, the Defence Secretary has said.
Ben Wallace visited the Lydd Army camp in Kent on Wednesday, where Ukrainian volunteers are being trained to fight in the war against Russia.
Addressing Ukrainian soldiers directly, Mr Wallace described Russia as “losing slowly” and reassured them Britain will continue to support them.
The Cabinet minister referred to the Salisbury Novichok poisonings in 2016 and said the UK does not fear reprisals from Russia for supporting Ukraine.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “Russia has been an active adversary of Britain for many years – many will remember the Salisbury poisoning, where they deployed nerve agents.
“Russia has been regularly behind cyber attacks in this country.
“Of course Russia doesn’t like the fact the United Kingdom is standing up against it – we’re standing up for the values of freedom, democracy and human rights, but that isn’t going to put us off.
“We’re going to continue to support Ukraine, to defend its sovereign territory against an illegal invasion, and we’ll just carry on doing it.
“Britain stands for more than a small moment in time, Britain stands for those enduring human rights.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he may remove the Government’s current Nato spending target of 3%.
The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 09 November 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/iOaTjxwZj2
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/a2htOFZoF5
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) November 9, 2022
Asked if he can continue as Defence Secretary if this happens, Mr Wallace said: “My determination is to deliver a modernised Ministry of Defence and armed forces and continue to invest in them, and therefore I need that capability to do so.
“Three or 2.5% targets at the end of the decade are not something that’s right in front of me in the here and now. In the here and now I need continued investment to not only support Ukraine but also for that vital modernisation.
“We’ll take each budget as it comes; there’ll be a budget some time in the spring and we’re negotiating for the short period of time between now and then to protect us from the impacts of inflation.”
Mr Wallace said he is confident the US will continue to support efforts in Ukraine amid the country’s midterm election results.
Some Republicans, who are expected to perform well in the elections, intend to withdraw support from Ukraine.
Mr Wallace said: “It’s only a small wing of the Republicans; I’ve spoken to a number of Republicans and they all see the importance of what’s going on in Ukraine.
“We don’t see any real change in the United States’ support for Ukraine and support for the international efforts.”
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