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Russia’s embassy hands note of protest to UK over British top general’s remarks

LONDON, November 13. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in London has issued a formal note of protest to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the words by the UK’s Chief of Defense Staff Sir Nick Carter that Russia’s behavior could escalate into a next world war, the embassy said in statement on Wednesday.

"On November 12, the embassy sent a note of protest to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the remarks by Chief of the Defense Staff General Sir Nick Carter made on November 10 in the BBC One’s Andrew Marr show and published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper under a provocative headline ‘Reckless Russia could accidentally trigger a third world war’," the statement said.

"The note of protest has drawn the British side’s attention to the fact that General Carter was intentionally trying to make an impression among the listeners and readers that Russia’s policy might end up with armed confrontation with the United Kingdom," it said.

Russian diplomats asked the Foreign Office to clarify to "Russian counterparts along with the wide public the extent to which Carter’s remarks mirror the official stance of the government of the United Kingdom."

"Quite lawful steps taken by the Russian Federation to assist Syria’s government in battling terrorism or to implement humanitarian projects in Africa were presented by the general as security threats for the United Kingdom comparable to the risk of a military attack," the document says.

General Carter’s statement

The embassy has pointed out that in the interview with the BBC, Carter in fact backed Andrew Marr’s words that Russia provides a threat to a way of life in the UK, especially in cyberspace, and that Moscow is allegedly attempting to interfere in the December 12 snap election to the House of Commons and to sow discord in British society.

In his article published by the Sunday Telegraph ahead of the anniversary commemorating the end of the First World War, Sir Carter underscored that "reckless behavior and the lack of respect for international law" by such countries as Russia, China and India might risk "escalation that could easily lead to inadvertent miscalculation," similar to the one prior to the 1914 deadly war. In September, the Russian embassy focused attention on General Carter’s words about the menace exploiting "the seams between war and peace".

"We view the statements made by the British military’s top service member as flawed and reckless. They are another manifestation of certain forces’ persistent policy to propagate the image of Russia as a hostile state in the United Kingdom," the embassy stressed.

In addition, the Russian diplomats pointed out that London was hushing up "the provocative character of the UK’s own military steps." Among them are the deployment of a military group to Syria without a resolution of the United Nations Security Council, the missile strikes on Syria in April 2018, the deployment of troops near the Russian border in Estonia, the training programs for Ukrainian service members, "interception" of Russian combat aircraft in international airspace and so on.

"Carter ignores the fact that Russia has always been and is open to professional, mutually respectful discussion on any security issues, which cause concern in the United Kingdom. Separate contacts resumed between members of the general staffs and national security councils prove that," the Russian diplomats added.