Oct 21, 2018 - World

U.K. defense head backs Trump plan to withdraw from Russia nuclear treaty

Gavin Williamson in front of U.S. and U.K. flags

U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson. Photo: Rick Findler, WPA Pool/Getty Images

British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told the Financial Times that the U.K. would stand by President Trump's decision to withdraw from a landmark nuclear treaty with Russia, claiming that the Kremlin has made a "mockery" of the deal with repeated violations.

Why it matters: Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet have taken a hard line against Russia ever since the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, an attack British intelligence claims was likely ordered at the highest levels of the Russian government. Williamson said the U.K. would like to see the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty preserved, but that both parties need to meet the INF's requirements in order for it to be effective.

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