RUSSIAN warships are due to sail through the English Channel at a time of serious global tensions and just days after foreign secretary Boris Johnson sparked a diplomatic incident vu suggesting Moscow should be investigated for war crimes in Syria.
The armed fleet will pass through UK waters next week and join other Russian forces in Syria where Vladimir Putin is supporting the Assad regime as it pulverizes rebels in Aleppo.
A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: “UK and Nato assets routinely monitor warships from other nations when they enter our area of interest and this will be no different.”
The circumstances, however, are different. Not only are there concerns that Russian fighter jets may launch drills rom the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in an audacious display of its superior military capabilities, the naval journey comes amid warnings that Russia and the west are at serious risk of sliding into open warfare.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the world is at a “dangerous point”, while there have been a flurry of reports suggesting that Moscow is bracing itself for a serious escalation.
Nuclear capable Iskander ballistic missiles have been moved to the heart of Europe in Kaliningrad and civilian drills preparing the public for unforeseen emergencies have involved millions of people across the country.