British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is set to step down . In an interview with the publication, he said he would do so during the country's next government reshuffle, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to carry out in September.
In addition, Wallace said that he was not going to take part in the next election, which should be held before the end of 2024. He informed Sunak of his decision on June 16.
Also in an interview with The Times, Wallace spoke about the encrypted messages that he and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov exchanged shortly before the war. According to him, before the opening of a secure communication channel, they agreed to call various weapons whiskey brands. In particular, ministers called NLAW anti-tank guided missiles Glenfiddich, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles Islay.
Before the start of the war, Wallace visited Russia and met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. According to Wallace, he lied to his face, saying that there would be no invasion of Ukraine. During the gift exchange, the British Minister of Defense presented Shoigu with a bottle of Glenfiddich, symbolizing the NLAW.
Ben Wallace became UK Secretary of Defense in 2019. He survived the succession of three prime ministers of the country, remaining in this position.