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Hammond - Russia a threat to everyone on world stage

Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:34pm BST

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By Margarita Antidze

TBILISI (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday that Russia represented a threat to all countries because of its disregard for international norms and he offered his support to Georgia, which fought a 2008 war with Moscow.

Hammond, who has a track record of robustly criticising Russia's actions, was in Georgia to meet Prime Minister Georgy Kvirikashvili and to visit the BP-operated South Caucasus Pipeline, which is being expanded.

When asked by Reuters whether Russia still posed a threat to countries in the region such as Georgia and the Baltic states, Hammond told a news conference:

"Russia ignores the norms of international conduct and breaks the rules of the international system. That represents a challenge and a threat to all of us."

He said it was time for Russia to play a constructive role on the world stage and follow the rules, noting Britain and Russia had a shared interest in fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

"There has to be a way that respects the rules of the international system if we are going to be able to do business together," said Hammond.

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