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UK foreign secretary to call for more sanctions on Russia during first US visit

Making his first visit to the US since taking office, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to d...

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 8:57 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 8:57 AM

Making his first visit to the US since taking office, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to deliver a speech Tuesday that will call on the European Union "to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US."

Hunt, who assumed the role of UK foreign secretary last month following the resignation of Boris Johnson, will focus his remarks on the global response to Russia's "malign behavior," which "undermines the international order that keeps us safe," according to excerpts of the speech obtained by CNN.

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"Of course we must engage with Moscow, but we must also be blunt: Russia's foreign policy under President Putin has made the world a more dangerous place," Hunt will say at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.

"And today the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US. That means calling out and responding to transgressions with one voice whenever and wherever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the fate of Crimea," an excerpt of the speech says.

Additionally, Hunt is expected to argue "that the values underpinning the international rules-based system that has kept us safe for decades are under threat."

"Only by working together can like-minded, free, democratic states like the UK and the US maintain our collective economic and diplomatic strength, fundamental to ensuring that our values and freedoms are defended for decades more to come," Hunt will say, according to the excerpts.

He will also address "the fraying domestic support for democratic systems in our own countries," specifically the impact that fake news and social media have had on democracy around the world.

"The heart of any democracy is freedom of expression, which allows citizens to access independent information to help decide who to vote for. But the ubiquity of fake news, social media targeting and foreign attempts to manipulate elections have undermined confidence that this can actually happen," an excerpt from his speech reads.

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