Extract From Theresa May's speech to the Lord Mayor's Banquet 2017

You've gotta laugh... see highlighted section at the end of this quote detailing serious allegations against Russia.

Defending the global system

Our starting point must be to strengthen the commitment, purpose and unity of those allies and partners with whom we have built this order.

Central to this must be the enduring strength of our transatlantic partnership and our relationships with our European allies.

The role of the United States in shaping the global order is as vital now as it has ever been.

Of course we will not always agree on each and every course of action. But underpinning this relationship is an alliance of values and interests between our peoples which has been a force for good in the world for generations – and must continue to be so.

The same is true of our relations with our European partners as we leave the EU. For we remain a European nation – our history marked by shared experience, our societies shaped by common values, our economies interdependent, and our security indivisible.

As I said in my speech in Florence, the UK will remain unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security.

And the comprehensive new economic partnership we seek will underpin our shared commitment to open economies and free societies in the face of those who seek to undermine them.

Chief among those today, of course, is Russia.

In a recent speech President Putin said that while the interests of states do not always coincide, strategic gains cannot be made at the expense of others. When a state fails to observe universal rules of conduct and pursues its interests at any cost, it will provoke resistance and disputes will become unpredictable and dangerous.

I say to President Putin, I agree. But it is Russia’s actions which threaten the international order on which we all depend.

I want to be clear about the scale and nature of these actions.

Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea was the first time since the Second World War that one sovereign nation has forcibly taken territory from another in Europe. Since then, Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbas, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries, and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption. This has included meddling in elections, and hacking the Danish Ministry of Defence and the Bundestag, among many others.

It is seeking to weaponise information. Deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions.

So I have a very simple message for Russia.

We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us.

The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise.

That is why we are driving reform of NATO so this vital alliance is better able to deter and counter hostile Russian activity. It is why we have stepped up our military and economic support to Ukraine.

It is why we are strengthening our cyber security and looking at how we tighten our financial regimes to ensure the profits of corruption cannot flow from Russia into the UK.

So we will take the necessary actions to counter Russian activity. But this is not where we want to be – and not the relationship with Russia we want.

We do not want to return to the Cold War, or to be in a state of perpetual confrontation.

So whilst we must beware, we also want to engage – which is why in the coming months the Foreign Secretary will be visiting Moscow.

For there is another way.

Many of us here looked at a post-Soviet Russia with hope.

Because we know that a strong and prosperous Russia which plays by the rules would be in the interests of the United Kingdom, Europe and the world.

As a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, Russia has the reach and the responsibility to play a vital role in promoting international stability.

Russia can, and I hope one day will, choose this different path.

But for as long as Russia does not, we will act together to protect our interests and the international order on which they depend.

Here is the full text of Theresa May's speech to the Lord Mayor's Banquet 2017:

PM's speech to the Lord Mayor's Banquet 2017