New British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is going to urge the United States and the European Union to put more pressure on Russia over its “malign behavior”. He wants both partners to keep Vladimir Putin in check by imposing and implementing tough punitive measures. “The established rules of international conduct are repeatedly being flouted by major countries like Russia,” Jeremy Hunt said in Washington during his first major policy speech since assuming the office. He also added that this kind of aggressive behavior was only undermining the international order.
While Mr Hunt also admitted that it was important to engage with the Kremlin, he also said that the West needed to be blunt. Mr. Hunt said that the Russian foreign policy under President Putin had turned the world into a more dangerous place. The UK has been in a diplomatic standoff with Moscow since the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March. A number of countries have expelled Russian diplomats and some have imposed other measures as well. These come on top of the already existing sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s interference in foreign elections including the 2016 US presidential poll.
The US administration has been tough on Moscow over the annexation of Crimea but London would like to see more. “Today, the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US,” Hunt stressed, adding that “[this] means calling out and responding to transgressions with one voice whenever and wherever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the fate of Crimea.”