Russia prepared ‘to neutralise potential threats’ from NATO on the border
The Russian government has warned it is ready to “neautralise potential threats” from NATO on the border, in a veiled threat to the security alliance.
The defensive alliance has been bolstering its forces in Poland, near to the border with Ukraine, as the war in Ukraine rages on.
In response, Oleg Tyapkin, the head of a foreign ministry department in charge of Russian relations with Europe, said the Kremlin’s response to increasing numbers of NATO troops in Poland will be “proportionate and appropriate”.
He told the Russian news agency Interfax: “A response, as always, will be proportionate and appropriate, intended to neutralise potential threats to the security of the Russian Federation.”
In February, US President Joe Biden ordered the deployment of an additional 3,000 US troops to Poland to help strengthen NATO’s presence in eastern Europe.
Just a month later, the UK said it was deploying a ground-based air defence system to Poland along with 100 troops.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the deployment of the Sky Sabre missile system while on a trip to Warsaw to meet his Polish counterpart.
The 100 troops would be deployed on a short-term basis and would be kept under review, Downing Street said.
It comes as the Prime Minister ordered ministers to do “everything in their power” to secure the release of two British men, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, after the pair were condemned to death for fighting Russian forces in what the UK Government described as a “sham” sentencing.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss discussed efforts to secure their release with her Ukrainian counterpart on Friday, after the judgment by a Russian proxy court on the two men who were both serving in the Ukrainian army.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, suggested on Friday negotiations for a possible prisoner swap with Moscow were under way, as it emerged Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had made a surprise visit to Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
UK officials are also in talks with Ukrainian counterparts over the detention of nationals, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, who both given death sentnces during a show trial.