British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will urge European leaders to work together to protect their borders against illegal migration on Thursday as he joins around 50 heads of government at a summit just 21km from the Ukrainian border.
Sunak will travel to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, for the second meeting of the European Political Community, which will be dominated by the security threat posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Ahead of his trip, Sunak said he would ensure that “tackling illegal migration is firmly on the international agenda” as he hopes to stem the flow of migrants across Europe.
“Europe is facing unprecedented threats at our borders, from Putin’s complete disregard for the sovereignty of other countries to the rise of organized immigration crime,” he said, adding that these could only be addressed by the continent’s “governments and institutions working closely together.”
The 47-nation EPC is the brainchild of French President Emmanuel Macron, bringing together EU member states and other countries including the UK, Turkey and Ukraine to discuss a range of security issues in a less formal setting than the EU or NATO.
For Sun, the EPC is a means of reconnecting with the EU after the bitter Brexit disputes; it is also an opportunity for him to link international engagement with his promise to “stop the boats” ferrying migrants across the English Channel.
In Chisinau, Sunak announces the start of negotiations on a new return agreement with Moldova and a new partnership with Bulgaria to undermine the business model of human traffickers.
Meanwhile, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev branded Britain an “eternal enemy” on Wednesday after Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Kiev had the right to attack military targets in Russia in self-defence.
Cleverly declined to comment when asked at a press conference in Estonia on Tuesday about drone attacks on residential areas in Moscow, for which Kiev did not claim responsibility.
However, he stated that Ukraine “has the right to project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine” and noted that “striking military targets beyond its own borders” is “regarded internationally as legitimate as part of a nation.” self-defense”.
Medvedev, currently the vice president of the Russian Security Council, reacted to this Twitter Britain is waging an “undeclared war against Russia” and has suggested that British officials helping Kiev’s war effort could be seen as legitimate military targets.
Michael Clarke, a visiting professor of war studies at King’s College London, said that while Cleverly appeared to have been caught by accident, he was “correct” to stress that the only legitimate Russian targets were military targets that did not include residential buildings. In the suburbs of Moscow.
Clarke added that while Medvedev “wasn’t a credible man these days,” his rhetoric highlighted a widespread view in Russia that “by insulting the British, you can get to the West without fear of any retribution, which you can’t do with Washington.” “.
James Nixey, director of the Russia-Eurasia program at Chatham House, said Cleverly’s intervention reflected how much closer the UK’s stance towards Moscow is to the Baltic and Nordic nations than to France and Germany, which have “always sought to be more accommodating to Russia”. .