London: Gavin Williamson, the British Defence Secretary, warned that Russia is taking an aggressive stance against the UK, the US and its allies and that Britain will be giving a fitting reply. The British parliamentarians have alleged that Russia has started a new cold war and Britain has not taken a strong position against that. The warning by the British Defence Secretary becomes important against this background. The incident of a Russian spy being found in an unconscious state under suspicious circumstances, can be a cause of increased tensions between the UK and Russia.
‘Since the last one year, Russia has tried to increase its influence and dominate. There is a marked increase in the Russian movements in the North-Atlantic and they have been noted to have a 10-fold increase in the past few years. In such times, Britain will not give in to whatever activities Russia is carrying out under the instructions of President Putin and will not let Russia bully Britain. Britain needs to face up to all this and a strong reply will be given’, the British Defence Minister used this aggressive language to warn Russia.
The British Defence Secretary assured that the UK’s nuclear submarine is ready and made it clear that a new missile technology was being developed to counter the Russian threat in the future.
Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed information about the intercontinental missile tests, only last week. At that time, President Putin warned that the Russian missiles have the longest range as compared to any other country, hence, no country is out of their range and all missile defence systems will prove ineffective against these. There are reactions on this statement coming from the world over and the British Prime Minister’s warning also seems to be a part of that.
Meanwhile, ‘Sergei Skripal’, a Russian secret agent living in Britain, was found unconscious near a shopping centre in Salisbury town in Britain. Skripal and a young woman who had accompanied him, have both been admitted to a hospital for treatment. This is second major incident involving a Russian spy being found under suspicious circumstances in the past 12 years.
In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian spy living in London was attacked with the radioactive element ‘Polonium-210’. Litvinenko was killed in the incident. The investigation revealed that a Russian officer was involved in the killing.
Sergei Skripal was caught while working as a ‘double agent’ for the British MI-6. He was even sentenced punishment in Russia in 2006. However, in the exchange of spies that happened in 2010 between the UK and Russia, Skripal was sent to Britain.