UK irresponsibly offers major NATO deployment across Europe

TEHRAN, Jan. 30 (MNA) – In a provocative move, the British prime minister's office said that London is planning to send more troops and weapons to NATO countries, claiming to be facing increasing Russian aggression.

“I have ordered our Armed Forces to prepare to deploy across Europe next week, ensuring we are able to support our NATO allies,” The UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

The offer could double the number of UK troops in eastern Europe and see “defensive weapons” sent to Estonia, Johnson’s office said. 

The UK claimed that the plan is presented in the face of what it calls growing Russian hostility and could strengthen NATO's defense and British support for its Northern European and Baltic partners.

Rejecting the allegations, the Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it is the United States and NATO that caused tensions in Eastern Europe by ignoring Moscow's red lines, such as Ukraine's membership in NATO.

Johnson is due to visit the region next week and is also expected to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone.

Johnson’s foreign and defense ministers will also go to Moscow for talks with their Russian counterparts in the coming days.

Tensions between Russia and NATO have increased recently, as Kyiv and a number of the alliance’s members have expressed concerns about the alleged “concentration" of Russian troops near its borders with Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is moving troops within its own territory and at its own discretion. According to him, this does not threaten anyone.

The US and the West have not refrained from taking any action to escalate tensions, such as sending weapons to Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Amid speculation of possible provocations, Moscow has repeatedly rejected any allegations of its planned aggression and warned that arming Kyiv could encourage it to use force against the breakaway Russian-speaking area of Donbas.

MP/PR

News Code 183411

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