March 26, 2018 / 8:36 AM / 6 months ago

UK defence secretary says world united behind Britain over Russian ex-spy poisoning

TALLINN, March 26 (Reuters) - British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Monday that the world was united behind Britain’s stance over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter and it sent a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Britain has blamed Russia for the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4 and Williamson said the world’s patience was now wearing thin with Putin. Russia has denied any involvement.

“What President Putin wishes to do is to divide Britain from its allies to say that we stand alone,” Williamson told reporters during a visit to Estonia.

“The fact that right across the NATO alliance, right across the European Union, nations have stood up in support of the United Kingdom ... I actually think that is the very best response that we could have.”

Williamson also said he was surprised and disappointed by reports about European Union proposals to freeze Britain out of the Galileo satellite project, saying he hoped the EU Commission would see sense and stop playing politics over defence and security issues. (Reporting by David Marditste; writing by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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