The British government has expressed fears that Vladimir Putin could “resort to non-conventional weapons systems” in Ukraine should Kyiv’s counteroffensive be successful.
On Monday MPs were told in the House of Commons that the UK is “very much on our guard” with what “happens next” over serious fears Putin could “turn ugly.”
The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace fears that Putin could resort to using “chemical and biological weapons” which were used by Russia in Syria.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Commons Defence Committee, said there is a “warm relationship” between the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the UK during his visit to Britain today.
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Ellwood who is a former British Army officer asked if “fast jets” will be provided to Ukraine and told MPs in the House of Commons that “there’s much talk of a counteroffensive.”
“But could I ask the Secretary of State about the comments of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, now openly criticising President Putin for an absence of ammunition, tactics on the battlefield as well.
“Is he concerned that if this counter-offensive is successful, that terrain is gained, that Russia, Putin will turn ugly and resort to non-conventional weapons systems, such as chemical weapons and biological (weapons), as he did in Syria?”
The Defence Secretary told MPs in response, “We always have to be on our guard about the behaviours of the Russian military and indeed President Putin.
“As he rightly comments, the use of chemical weapons in Syria was another turning point, the use of chemical weapons here on the streets of the United Kingdom in the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.
“We are on our guard, the international community regularly communicate, we stand ready with NATO, we increase our readiness as we do, and we have started to increase the investment in our capabilities, all important, but he is right we have to be very much on our guard about what happens next.”