Wed, 21 Aug 2019

A day after accusing Russia of trying to 'goad the West,' British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson has been labeled the 'minister of war' by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov's comments at the Munich Security Conference on February 16 come a day after Williamson said that Russia 'was trying to goad the West into a new arms race it simply is not interested in and does not want.'

Williamson also accused Russia of 'illegal activity' on land and at sea, and called on Moscow to improve its relations with the West through dialogue.

Lavrov, talking about Russia's perception of 'increased activity by NATO,' said Moscow was interested in knowing how the Western alliance saw its mandate in the Arctic.

'If you listen to some people like the minister of war -- or, sorry, the minister of defense of the United Kingdom, then you might get an impression that nobody except NATO has the right to be anywhere other than in their own borders.'

It was not the first time Lavrov and Williamson have clashed verbally.

Last year, after Williamson told Russia to 'go away and shut up', Lavrov retorted, 'Maybe he lacks education.'

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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