Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview to LBC, 20 March 2021
Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin to LBC:
- Russia has numerously offered UK to thoroughly and professionally discuss all possible issues in bilateral relations. Unfortunately, London prefers groundless accusations rather than dialogue.
- Political dialogue between Russia and UK is nearly dead. London has demolished most of it. Moscow had on a number occasions offered to discuss issues such as cyber but had always been rebuffed by the UK.
- The Integrated Review of foreign and defence policy that it was raising the limit from 180 warheads to 260 had come as a “big surprise”.
- The UK Government of violating its international treaty obligations by raising the cap on its stockpile of nuclear warheads. The decision to lift the cap on the nuclear stockpile has violated the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- In the Review, there are 14 times Russia is mentioned as an acute threat to the United Kingdom. But there is no single proof or explanation to any kind of a formulation. In some places, Russia has been accused as being a threat, well, for its cultural influence in truth.
- The claims Russia represented a threat to the UK boil down to the poisoning in Salisbury of the former spy Sergei Skripal which no substance or proof in the UK narrative of the Skripal story and shows that it is also false.
- If there are things which are worrying Britain, let us sit down at the table and discuss what it is, what are the concerns.
- If you will read, thoroughly, this integrated concept, you will see that there is no mentioning of a dialogue at all about Russia. Only accusations. This is very different from other strategic papers.
- Russia is ready to respond should there be interest from UK in our Sputnik-V vaccine.