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May accuses Putin of election meddling
©Kremlin.ru

May accuses Putin of election meddling

14/11/17Government

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has launched her strongest attack on Russia yet, accusing Moscow of meddling in elections and carrying out cyber espionage.

Addressing leading business figures at a banquet in London, the prime minister said Vladimir Putin’s government was trying to “undermine free societies”.

May has accused Russia of “planting fake stories” to “sow discord in the West”, and adding that whilst the UK did not want confrontation with Russia, it would protect its interests.

Her comments are in stark contrast to those of US President Donald Trump, who last week said he believes Putin’s denial of intervening.

In a major foreign policy speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Mansion House, UK, which May described as a “very simple message” for Putin, she said he must choose a “different path” from the one that in recent years had seen Moscow annex Crimea, foment conflict in Ukraine and launch cyber-attacks on governments and parliaments across Europe.

Russia could be a valuable partner of the West but only if it “plays by the rules”, she argued.

She said as the UK prepares to leave the EU and chart a new course in the world, it remained absolutely committed to NATO and securing a Brexit deal which “strengthens our liberal values”, adding that a strong economic partnership between the UK and EU would be a bulwark against Russian agitation in Europe.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is due to visit Russia next month.

Johnson said the UK’s policy to Russia must be one of “beware but engage” following a decade of strained relations.

Pan European Networks Ltd