Top UK General Claims There's a 'Greater Risk' of War With Russia
08:09 GMT 13.11.2021 (Updated: 15:16 GMT 28.05.2023)
The allegations follow Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejecting recent claims by foreign media outlets about Russia's plans to "invade Ukrainian territory" as void and groundless. He also slammed the publications for trying to escalate tensions between Russia and other countries.
UK Chief of the Defence Staff Nick Carter has argued that due to escalating tensions between the West and Russia, the risk of an accidental war is now the highest in decades.
In an interview with Times Radio, the top British general stated that the UK and the rest of the world are "in a much more competitive world than we were even ten or 15 years ago".
"And I think the nature of the competition between states and great powers leads to greater tensions. We have to be careful that people don't end up allowing the bellicose nature of some of our politics to end up in a position where escalation leads to miscalculation", he added.
Carter referred to "many of the traditional diplomatic tools and mechanisms" related to the Cold War era
, which he said "are no longer there".
"And without those […] there is a greater risk. That's a real challenge we are confronted with", he went on to claim.
When asked if the West's tensions with Russia and the risk of a war were greater now than at any stage in his 44-year career, the general said, "yes", adding, "when you and I were growing up, it was a bipolar world. Two blocs, the Soviet Union and the West. We're now into a period where it's more multipolar".
Carter then went further by alleging that Russia was poised to do its best to undermine western Europe and the US, purportedly by using mass migration and disrupting Europe's gas supply.
Poland-Belarus Border Tensions
The UK chief of defence staff spoke as tensions mount on the Poland-Belarus border
, where thousands of undocumented migrants from the Middle East and other troubled regions have set up camps after failing to cross the border and enter the EU.
Poland was quick to pin the blame on Belarus and Russia for what Warsaw called facilitating illegal migration to destabilise the EU. Minsk and Moscow dismissed the accusations as completely false, with the Belarusian government explaining that it has no funds to stop the refugee influx due to Europe's sanctions spree against the nation.
10 November 2021, 11:27 GMT
Earlier this week, two Russian strategic Tu-160 bombers carried out a 4.5-hour flight over Belarusian territory for the purpose of "maintaining the security of the Union State [of Russia and Belarus]". The bombers also flew alongside Belarusian Air Force Su-30SMs, which drilled covering the strategic aircraft during the mission.
The Russian Defence Ministry, for its part, stressed that the 11 November flyover was not targeted against any foreign nation.
The UK has, meanwhile, dispatched about 10 soldiers to Poland to support Warsaw's efforts to strengthen its border with Belarus, in a move that was made at the request of the Polish government.
The British Defence Ministry described the mission as something that is only focused on "engineering support to address the ongoing situation at the Belarus border", amid reports that there was no additional plan for UK forces to police the frontier.
Moscow Rejects Ukraine Invasion Allegations
In a separate development this week, the Russian president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, responded to claims by foreign media outlets that Moscow is nurturing plans to "invade Ukrainian territory". He described the allegations as void and groundless, berating the publications for attempting to ramp up tensions between Russia and other countries.
21 October 2021, 16:41 GMT
The spokesman added that movements of the Russian military on the country's own territory should not cause anyone's concern and assured that Moscow threatens no one.
"Russia is developing in its own way. We go about our own business, and we take measures to ensure our security if necessary, if some provocative actions by our opponents occur near our borders", Peskov said, clarifying that he referred to NATO, which he said "actively and assertively" operates in the direct vicinity of Russia's borders.
The statement came after several US media outlets reported about an alleged military buildup on Russia's side of the border with Ukraine
, something that Moscow dubbed a fake news campaign directed against the Kremlin.