Boris warns 'no one wants a new Cold War with China' but 'challenges' ahead as Russia relations still 'disappointing'
BORIS Johnson today warned "no one wants a new Cold War with China" and there were "challenges" ahead with them – as he arrived for a crunch NATO summit.
And he confessed relations with Russia were still "disappointing" – but he was "hopeful" they could be improved in time.
As the PM arrived in Brussels for meetings with other NATO members, he said that China posed "challenges" for the Western alliance.
Russia and China are joining the group for discussions.
Mr Johnson said this morning as he arrived: "I don't think anybody around the table today wants to descend into a new Cold War with China.
"I don't think that's where people are.
"I think people see challenges, they see things that we have to manage together.
"But they also see opportunities and I think that what we need to do is do it together."
He revealed that he'd be taking some "pretty tough messages" to the Russian leader but said so far "it's been pretty disappointing" how relations are still icy between the two powers.
The PM added: "I'm always hopeful that things will improve with Russia but… I'm afraid that so far it's been pretty disappointing from the UK point of view," Mr Johnson said.
"When I saw President Putin I made that very clear, I said 'Look, you know, we're ready to do things differently, we are ready to try to have closer relations but you have got to change the way you behave'.
"You'll remember what happened at Salisbury where innocent members of the public faced the poisoning from Novichok, one woman tragically lost her life.
"That's no way to behave. Nato allies stood by Britain then and I know that President Biden will be taking some pretty tough messages to President Putin in the course of the next few days."
The PM is set to use the meeting to discuss security threats – and cyber attacks on Nato members' healthcare systems.
And he will call on leaders to prepare to face down the challenges of the future, too.
Nato Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said ahead of the summit that relations with Russia are at the "lowest point" since the end of the Cold War.
"We see attempts to meddle in our political democratic processes, to undermine the trust in our institutions and efforts to divide us. We have to take that very seriously," he told Times Radio.
"We need to strengthen our cyber defences, we need to exchange intelligence, we need to be vigilant and aware of all these different tools of aggressive actions, military and non-military."
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