Military Capabilities

UK defence secretary places Russia front and centre as potential adversary

11 February 2019

Key Points

  • UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has named Russia as a primary threat to UK security
  • In a speech at RUSI he also laid out an expansive UK role on the world stage

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson unequivocally singled out Russia as a key UK opponent on the global stage during a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in Whitehall on 11 February.

Williamson stated that, while the United Kingdom and its allies have been tackling the extremism of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in recent years, “state-on-state competition has been reviving, [and] today Russia is resurgent … and seeking to bring the independent countries of the former Soviet Union back into its orbit”.

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