March 21, 2021, 06:49 | Updated: Mar 21, 2021, 11:41 AM
The Russian ambassador to Britain accused the government of violating its international treaty obligations by raising the cap on its stockpile of nuclear warheads, saying ties between London and Moscow are “almost dead”.
Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin made the comment to LBC host Tom Swarbrick as he called on Russia and the UK to work for a post-economic ‘economic relationship’. Brexit
The remarks come after Foreign Minister Dominic Raab earlier this week described Russia as a “threat” using “nefarious weapons”, disinformation and cyber attacks.
Mr Kelin said the announcement in the Integrated Foreign and Defense Policy Review that he was increasing the limit from 180 warheads to 260 had been a “big surprise”.
LISTEN to the full interview on Swarbrick Sunday from 10am today
He also said the review provided no justification for its description of Russia as an “acute threat” and that political relations between London and Moscow were now “almost dead”, but went on to suggest a partnership economic renewed.
He said he was baffled by the decision to lift the cap on nuclear stockpiles, saying it violated the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty – a claim the government rejected.
“If the UK continues to produce a number of nuclear warheads, and it was a big surprise to the whole world, I would even say to the US experts. So they think ‘UK, what do you do? “”, Did he declare. .
“You are increasing the number of warheads by 40%. This is a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and many other agreements that only say a decline or a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons.”
Speaking of Russian-British relations, Mr Kelin told LBC: “I think what we need to do, or what we need to do immediately, is to revive economic relations.
“Of course this will be a vital and important step for the UK after Brexit, especially when it is looking, when the UK is looking for other partners and other trade deals.
“We have a lot to offer the UK if it is interested in doing so.”
Mr Kelin said Russia’s claims posed a threat to the UK “boil down” to the poisoning in Salisbury of former spy Sergei Skripal who he said lacked “substance or information” and was “all wrong”.
“In the review, there are 14 times that Russia (is) mentioned as a serious threat to the UK. But there is no single evidence or explanation for any wording,” he said. -he declares.
Mr Kelin also described Putin as a “very wise statesman” after US President Joe Biden brought the accusation against the Russian president in an interview.
Asked directly if he thought Putin was a “killer,” Mr. Kelin replied: “Me? Of course not. He is a very wise statesman, President Putin is a very wise statesman.
“He reunited Russia after terrible events that happened in the 90s. Since the year 2000. It has become a different nation and a different country.
“And it is getting stronger and stronger. It is becoming a more influential, more sovereign entity, has its own interests, and it will defend our own interests.”
Mr. Putin responded to the American president by calling him a “killer” by declaring on Russian television that “it takes someone to know one”.
In the interview, the Russian Ambassador to the UK was also asked to comment on Boris Johnson.
He replied: “I have no opinion [or] attitude, because Boris Johnson, at the moment, is very busy with internal politics in the first place.
“And secondly, he’s very busy building a relationship in a post-Brexit situation with his main partners and his main partner, so it’s clear, it’s [the] European Union and United States. “
READ MORE: Biggest threats UK faces come from Russia and China, former MI6 chief told LBC
During the interview with LBC, Mr. Kelin also revealed to Tom Swarbrick that the last time he spoke to Dominic Raab was in December 2019, adding that he was told that Mr. Raab “is meeting very rarely ambassadors “.
READ MORE: PM undertakes sweeping reforms to counter growing threats from other countries
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