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WW3 arms race? Ex-defence minister calls for MORE SPENDING in face of 'aggressive' Russia

BRITAIN and Nato should increase military spending as Vladimir Putin’s “aggressive” Russia raises fears among Nato-member Baltic states, a top former defence minister has said.

Tory peer Lord Andrew Robathan urged for military forces to be bolstered in the face of “increasingly aggressive posturing of Russia”.

He revealed his “very real” concern over Moscow’s actions, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the bombardment of the Syria city of Aleppo.

Defence minister Earl Howe had said Russia’s apparent sabre-rattling over the Baltic nations is “designed to test the responses of Nato members”.

He added: “Though highly unlikely, there is the possibility that it may feel tempted to act aggressively against Nato allies.

“Our response, with Nato and EU partners, includes promoting access to independent Russian language media, enhanced forward presence and air policing.”


But Lord Robothan responded: “Those of us who are old enough to remember the Cold War will view the actions of Russia with very real concern, be it the 2008 invasion of Georgia, the Crimean annexation, the intervention in Ukraine, leading to the downing of an aircraft by Russian missiles, the bombing of Syria and Aleppo and, of course, not one mile from here on the streets of London, the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.”

He added: “Perhaps our response, to which he referred, should be to look to increase defence spending, not just in the United Kingdom but particularly across the rest of Nato.”

But not all peers were in agreement over Lord Robothan’s call to boost spending.

Former security minister and Labour peer, Lord West of Spithead, said Nato should use dialogue with Russia during this “very dangerous period”.

He said: “Does the minister not believe that in this very dangerous period, we must open every channel we can of dialogue with Russia?

“We must try to have means of access to Russia in order to talk about these issues and have some dialogue about reducing tension and the escalation that is happening right now.”

The plea comes amid fears of an all-out war between Russia and Europe.

The Finnish intelligence service has reportedly warned Russia is buying up plots of land in the country in a bid to mount an invasion.

And Moscow is believed to be bolstering its battle fleet which intimidatingly passed through the English Channel last month.

Author: FRASER MOORE    Source: qatarday

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