British involvement in Ukrainian terrorist attacks inside Russia can?t be ruled out in overall relations
The severing of diplomatic ties with the UK would be an "extreme measure," but Moscow could end up taking the step considering London's significant involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry has warned.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that "UK special forces from the British Army's SAS and SRR regiments and the Navy's SBS units are operating very close to the front lines" in Ukraine. British personnel are not directly involved in the fighting with Russian troops, "but their guiding influence on Ukrainian special-forces activity is evident in the sabotage operations Ukraine has conducted against Russian railway, airfield, fuel and other logistical nodes," the US outlet claimed.
RT addressed the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment on the article, asking if Moscow could verify the WSJ's claims and, if confirmed, whether this could lead to the severing of relations with Britain.
In a reply on Friday, the ministry said it was "well aware of consistent efforts by London aimed at providing military assistance to the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev."
The UK's support includes the supply of domestically produced and foreign military hardware to Ukraine, the training of Ukrainian troops in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, intelligence sharing, consulting support and "likely participation in the operational-tactical planning by the [Ukrainian] military, including sabotage, other operations, direct provision of cyber-security, [and] deployment of mercenaries," the statement from the ministry read.
"We can't rule out that the British participated in the planning, organization and support of terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime on the territory of Russia, including through the provision of intelligence information," it added.
The ministry noted it had summoned British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert last autumn, following the Ukrainian naval drone attack on Russian vessels in the Crimean port of Sevastopol last autumn. Russian diplomats voiced a "strong protest" to Bronnert over the "active participation of British military specialists in the training and supply of units of Ukraine's special operations forces, including for carrying out sabotage operations at sea," it said.
Russia reserves the right to respond to such conduct by the UK at a time and place of its choosing, the ministry added, asserting that "all responsibility for the consequences of London's destructive activities rests entirely with the masterminds and perpetrators of those reckless acts."
Regarding the possible severing of diplomatic relations with London, "this is obviously an extreme measure that can't be ruled out when taking into account the totality of all factors," the ministry warned.