Theresa May says UK will help protect eastern Europe from ‘hostile states like Russia’

Posted On: 
23rd November 2017

Theresa May will today launch a fresh attack on Vladimir Putin, calling Russia a “hostile state” that threatens the integrity of the Western world. 

Theresa May and Vladimir Putin before the start of last year's G20 summit in China

At a summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister will say the rest of Europe must be “open-eyed” about the threat posed by Moscow.

It follows her strongly-worded speech earlier this month where she said the actions of the Russian government “threaten the international order on which we all depend”.

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Mrs May is in the Belgian capital for the fifth Eastern Partnership Summit between EU heads of state and the leaders of six former Soviet countries - Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

She will stress that the UK will continue to “unconditionally” support Europe-wide efforts to bolster security, even after leaving the EU.

“From agriculture in Ukraine to the tech sector in Belarus – there is a huge amount of potential in the Eastern neighbourhood that we should nurture and develop,” Mrs May is expected to say.

“But we must also be open-eyed to the actions of hostile states like Russia which threaten this potential and attempt to tear our collective strength apart.

“This summit highlights the crucial importance of the European countries working together to protect our shared values and ideals. The UK may be leaving the EU but we are not leaving Europe, and we are unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security.”

Meanwhile, Mrs May will also hold talks on Brexit with EU Council president Donald Tusk while she is in Brussels.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister could agree to put in writing how the UK will calculate its Brexit divorce bill offer to the EU.

In return, the Prime Minister wants the EU to guarantee that the negotiations will move on to trade next month.