UK escalates tensions with Russia as crisis intensifies on the edge of Europe

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The deployment of Royal Navy warships to the Black Sea would constitute a major escalation in the brewing conflict on the edge of Europe

The UK has seen fit to dramatically escalate tensions with Russia at a time of mounting crisis on the edge of Europe, as demonstrated by the mobilization of Ukrainian and Russian forces.

The UK’s latest escalatory step centers on uncorroborated allegations by the Czech Republic that the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) was responsible for an explosion at an arms depot in the country in October 2014.

Conveniently the Czech authorities have implicated the same two men which the UK blames for the Salisbury poisoning in March 2018, in the arms depot explosion which allegedly killed two local Czechs.

The Czech Republic is expelling 18 Russian diplomats – which it accuses of being intelligence officers – as retaliation for the incident which occurred nearly seven years ago.

Following the Czech announcement, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, tweeted that the UK “stands in full support of our Czech allies”.

The UK stands in full support of our Czech allies, who have exposed the lengths that the GRU will go to in their attempts to conduct dangerous and malign operations – and highlights a disturbing pattern of behaviour following the attack in Salisbury.

— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) April 18, 2021

Meanwhile, the hawkish chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, went further by accusing Russia of committing “warlike acts” in the heart of Europe.

Czech Republic is standing up to Putin’s Russia committing warlike acts in Prague. They’re right and all ⁦@NATO⁩ must stand with them. We are all threatened by such violence. We defend ourselves best when we defend each other. ⁦@PavelFischer

— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) April 17, 2021

This rhetorical escalation by British officials comes on the heels of reports that the UK is planning to send warships to the Black Sea next month.

According to the Sunday Times (April 18), the Royal Navy is planning to position the warships off the coast of Ukraine in a show of “solidarity with Kiev and Nato allies” in the region.

Russia has yet to formally react to news that the UK is planning to send warships to the sensitive Black Sea region.  




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