Russia condemns UK foreign army base plans, says ready to defend interests


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Friday condemned British plans to open army bases in south-east Asia and the Caribbean and stated it stood able to take retaliatory measures if its personal pursuits or these of its allies had been threatened.

British protection minister Gavin Williamson instructed the Sunday Telegraph newspaper final month that London was engaged on plans to construct two new international bases “inside the subsequent couple of years” after it left the European Union.

Williamson didn’t specify the place the bases could be constructed, however the newspaper reported that choices included Singapore or Brunei close to the South China Sea and Montserrat or Guyana within the Caribbean.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s international ministry, on Friday described Williamson’s feedback as baffling and warned such plans might destabilize world affairs.

“After all, Britain like some other nation is unbiased on the subject of its army development plans. However in opposition to the backdrop of general rising army and political tensions on this planet … statements in regards to the need to construct up its army presence in third international locations are counter-productive, destabilizing and probably of a provocational nature,” she stated.

“Within the occasion of any measures that pose a risk to Russia’s safety or that of its allies our nation reserves the correct to take applicable retaliatory measures.”

Russia has army bases in a number of international locations throughout the previous Soviet Union and operates army amenities in Syria and has spoken of re-opening Soviet-era bases in Cuba and Vietnam.

(This story has been refiled to revive dropped phrases in closing paragraph.)

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Modifying by Tom Balmforth)

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