Russia poses no threat to UK, ambassador says

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LONDON, June 9. /TASS/. Russia poses no threat to the United Kingdom, Russian Ambassador to London Andrei Kelin said in an interview with TASS, commenting on British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace’s statement that Russia was the number one threat to his country.

“We don’t pose any threat to the United Kingdom. Our army is about ten times stronger than the British one but it doesn’t mean it’s possible to talk about threats,” Kelin pointed out.

Earlier, Wallace complained about “nosy Russian ships” in an interview with the Telegraph. The Russian envoy, in turn, emphasized that NATO, of which the UK was a member, maintained military presence near Russia’s borders. “They [the British] can see our ships passing the British Isles but British vessels are currently participating in joint drills with other NATO countries and Ukraine in the Black Sea. And these drills are definitely aimed against us,” Kelin noted, adding that Moscow “cannot turn a blind eye to all this.”

“We need to search for ways to build dialogue instead of trying to gain footholds and making loud statements about it in parliament and the media,” the ambassador said. “In my view, these activities are targeted at the domestic audience, the goal is to confirm the ideas expressed in a parliamentary report, where it was repeated 13 times that Russia was a threat,” Kelin noted. He was hopeful that dialogue between Moscow and London would be restored because “there are no grounds for these endless accusations against us.”

“This is not the first time that our relations with the United Kingdom have cooled. Earlier, there was the Litvinenko case, which triggered diplomatic expulsions, a prolonged suspension of ties and a lack of dialogue. We’ll see what will happen in the near future but it’s clear that it benefits neither the United Kingdom, nor the British business community nor the British people. The same goes for us,” the envoy stressed.

According to the United Kingdom’s Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy, “Russia remains the most acute threat” to the country’s security.