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Reuters: British Defense Secretary discusses Ukraine's security issues during emergency trip to Washington

20.10.2022
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According to

This week, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace met with his US counterpart in Washington to discuss common concerns about the situation in Ukraine, a senior defense source said in response to rumors of the secretary's surprise trip.

After the offensive of Ukrainian troops in order to regain territory in the east of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered partial mobilization in the Russian Federation, and also issued nuclear threats.

Wallace promptly canceled scheduled parliamentary committee hearings to travel to Washington on Tuesday, raising questions about what was behind the apparent urgency of the trip.

“There was a lot of speculation as to why the Secretary of Defense went to Washington,” the source said, “as we approach winter in Ukraine with their successes on the battlefield against Russian troops and in light of Putin’s recent actions, it was important meet face to face with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other US administration officials to discuss our shared security concerns."

Ukrainian cities are increasingly the target of rocket and drone attacks, and Foreign Secretary James Cleverley told Sky News that "there is an urgency that comes with new risks to civilians and so we must respond to that."

"Our response must be fast," he said on Wednesday.

But on Tuesday, Junior Secretary of Defense James Hippie told Sky News that Wallace was in Washington "carrying on the kind of talks that seem unbelievable, but the reality is that we live in a time when such talks are needed."

Asked if Wallace traveled to Washington to discuss the risk of Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Liz Truss, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, reiterated that Russia's use of nuclear weapons would have "serious consequences" but added: "I would refrain from speculation on this topic.

 

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