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UK Def Sec Accuses Russia of 'Malign Behavior,' Hints at Skripal Poisoning Link

© AP Photo / Petros KaradjiasBritain's Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson
Britain's Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - Sputnik International
Gavin Williamson has been accusing Russian of many things, including the poisoning incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury despite any tangible proof of Moscow involvement in either one.

Russia poses a threat to continental Europe, Britain and many other countries around the world, UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson warned when addressing an Atlantic Council seminar in Washington on Tuesday.

"In 2015, when we evaluated the situation in the world, we declared that Russia was a threat. I think the experience that the world has acquired since 2015 shows that it poses a threat not only to Great Britain, or to continental Europe but to the many other countries of the world,” Williamson said.

He described Russia as being “increasingly aggressive” and using its full military arsenal to pursue its interests.

In this Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 Picture Britain's Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson holds a news conference in British embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. - Sputnik International
'Russia Should Go Away and Shut Up' - UK Defense Minister Gavin Williamson
"We see a growing competition between states. A terror-sponsoring Iran, a nuclear- armed North Korea, not forgetting to mention a rising China, an increasingly aggressive Russia using every weapon at its disposal to advance its interests. A Russia whose use of covert operations and cyber warfare, political subversion and increased military posturing is part of a wider pattern of malign behavior,” Williamson noted.

He also hinted about Moscow’s alleged use of military-grade chemicals on British soil.

“[We’ve seen] the first use of chemical weapons in Europe since the Second World War. It demonstrates the fact that  dangers are diversifying with states adopting the tactics of terrorists and terrorists increasingly armed with more sophisticated weapons, including cyber capabilities, all blowing the line between peace and conflict. It’s clear: we are in a new age of intertwined dangers,” he continued.

On June 30, two Britons, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were rushed to a hospital in Amesbury, in critical condition after being exposed to what the UK authorities called "Novichok", the same nerve agent that allegedly struck down former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in neighboring Salisbury in early March.

READ MORE: UK Intelligence Furious After Williamson's Remark About Russian Threat — Reports

A number of high-ranking UK officials, including Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson and Security Minister Ben Wallace, have claimed that the poison came from Russia, though no evidence supporting the claims has ever been presented.

Russia has strongly denied any involvement in either incident, dismissing all allegations as groundless. It has also offered Britain assistance in the investigation which was later turned down by London.

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