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British defense chief confirms plans to meet with Russian counterpart Shoigu

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed his intention to pay a visit to Russia and to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Times daily reported.

British defense chief confirms plans to meet with Russian counterpart Shoigu

British defense chief confirms plans to meet with Russian counterpart Shoigu

STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 27, ARTSAKHPRESS: "I want the Russians to understand the Ukrainians will fight and Russia risks its economy, it risks being isolated, and that is not a legacy Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to be remembered for," the daily quoted Wallace as saying.

"There is a chance it could be stopped but I’m not optimistic," the British top military official added.

Wallace also said that considering tensions in regard to Ukraine the United Kingdom in cooperation with NATO "could definitely deploy more forces in land, sea or air."

On January 17, UK Secretary of State for Defense Wallace announced that he had sent an invitation to Russian Defense Minister Shoigu to visit London. Wallace expressed readiness to discuss issues related to mutual security concerns and engage in a meaningful dialogue in the spirit of goodwill.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on January 21 that Shoigu extended an invitation to Wallace to visit Moscow. According to the ministry, Shoigu "assured his British counterpart that he was ready to discuss all pressing security issues and suggested holding talks in Moscow based on the principles of reciprocity at any time that is convenient for the British defense secretary."

Recently, Ukraine and some Western countries have been spreading allegations about Russia’s preparations for aggression in Donbass, where Kiev has been engaged in an internal armed confrontation with the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk since 2014.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these claims as "empty and unfounded," serving as a ploy to escalate tensions, pointing out that Russia did not pose any threat whatsoever to anyone. However, Peskov did not rule out the possibility of provocations aimed at justifying such allegations and warned that attempts to use military force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have very serious consequences.


     

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