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Nina Schick @NinaDSchick
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Another reason why Brexit was/is such a bad idea. The UK burns bridges with its EU allies in an increasingly unstable world, at at time when the 'special relationship' couldn't be more perilous. Even more difficult for May to push for unified Western response. #Russia #Skripal
1. Magnified by Trump's statement that US will "condemn" any Russian involvement. Condemn" implicitly sounds like it will stay in the realm of diplomacy.
2. So what can TM do? - Some unilateral UK actions, like freezing assets of Putin cronies, tackling money laundering through City (will come with a financial cost.)
3. Try and persuade EU for wider sectoral sanctions on Russia (hard to see why countries like Italy or Hungary would be interested in hearing the UK out) even though it has a very legitimate case.
4. Test NATO route - even so far as Article 5 - doesn't mean that there has to be a military response (remember, it's only been triggered once before, after 9/11 - cyber could also be a response). NATO needs to evolve to respond to Russian hybrid warfare.
5. On US side, TM will find allies in Congres, we know at @rasmussenglobal from our work in D.C (and we are call for Transatlantic cooperation on Russian hybrid warfare) but strong action needs to come from Executive. Don't see that happening atm.
6. This is a test as real-politik and Brexit collide. If the UK's response is too cautious, the Kremlin will see that as evidence that the UK doesn't have the stamina and capacity to respond to Russian hybrid warfare. This is the time for TM to show toughness.
7. For those urging appeasement so Russia doesn't escalate, the fact is that Russia has been escalating anyway. Almost all Western liberal democracies have faced Russian interference. There is need for a coordinated response.
8. There are 20 Western elections by 2020 - not good enough for the West to idly sit by and allow Russia to operate with impunity. We are beyond the days were a little green man has to arrive at borders for it to be warfare.
9. Russia's hybrid warfare = a range of different approaches including conventional warfare, but also disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, hacking, election interference and targeted political assassinations.
10. We've seen this in action from the 2014 invasion of Ukraine, to discord sown in Central and Eastern Europe on the refugee crisis, involvement in EURef, elections in US, Germany, Italy, Catalonia... ect.
11. Just unfortunate for UK that this comes at time when its two traditional pillars of foreign policy (EU & US) are wobbly. This argument was made against Brexit - what a shame it was laughed off as 'project fear' at the time. We see the very real consequences now.
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