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Oct 12 - NATO should respond to Russia’s threat but look to better relationship - Raab

NATO should face "a more aggressive Russia" and respond to it, but the military alliance should simultaneously stay open to a better relationship with Moscow, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said at the NATO Parliamentary a*sembly in London on Saturday.

"I want to be clear about this. We do need an approach that invites the possibility of a better relationship with Russia, if and when Russia shows it is serious, willing and able to cooperate in support of international law rather than undermining it," Raab said accusing Moscow of repeated violations of international law and the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

According to Raab, NATO must "be clear-sighted in adapting our deterrence and defensive capabilities to respond to Russia’s patterns of aggression, malign activity and abuse of the international rules-based system." For the purpose, the alliance has increased support to the Baltic states, Ukraine and Georgia.

Along with this, the Foreign Secretary mentioned novel threats, namely cyberattacks, new missile systems and autonomous weapons systems.

"At the upcoming NATO Leaders’ Meeting in December [in London], we also want to see our allies addressing evolving challenges in outer space, just as it has already done with cyber, and address disruptive, emerging, new technologies," he stressed.

"That Leaders’ Meeting will make sure that we can respond with the strength that we need to the increase of hybrid attacks that, let’s remember, affect the day-to-day lives of our people - whether by compromising their bank accounts or undermining the integrity of our elections and our democratic system," Raab said.

According to London, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.