It is perhaps only a matter of time given Britain has long been leading Western allies in taking more and more hawkish, escalatory stances against Moscow throughout the Ukraine conflict: Russia's foreign ministry said in statements published Friday that it could sever diplomatic ties with the UK altogether.
In words given to Russia's RT, the foreign ministry cited London's significant involvement against Russia in arming and assisting Ukraine's military, but still said severing of ties would be an "extreme measure" - but which apparently is being mulled nonetheless:
The severing of diplomatic ties with the UK would be an “extreme measure,” but Moscow could end up taking the step considering London’s significant involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry has warned.
RT had approached the foreign ministry over reports that first surfaced in The Wall Street Journal last week saying that "UK special forces from the British Army’s SAS and SRR regiments and the Navy’s SBS units are operating very close to the front lines" in Ukraine.
The WSJ presented it as constituting a "split" in policy with Washington, given the White House has held back sending special forces to directly assist the Ukrainians on the front lines of fighting. However, there have long been significant rumors and reports of American operatives, including intelligence, directly supporting the war effort regardless.
Russia's foreign ministry said that it is "well aware of consistent efforts by London aimed at providing military assistance to the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev."
The British special forces are believed involved in assisting brazen cross-border sabotage and 'terror' operations seen for example days ago in the large-scale attacks on Belgorod.
According to more of the official Russian FM statement, presented in English by state media:
The UK’s support includes the supply of domestically produced and foreign military hardware to Ukraine, the training of Ukrainian troops in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, intelligence sharing, consulting support and “likely participation in the operational-tactical planning by the [Ukrainian] military, including sabotage, other operations, direct provision of cyber-security, [and] deployment of mercenaries,” the statement from the ministry read.
“We can’t rule out that the British participated in the planning, organization and support of terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime on the territory of Russia, including through the provision of intelligence information,” it added.
The Russian government has previously summoned the UK ambassador to demand answers, yet the policy of confrontation on the Ukrainian battlefield which began under former prime minister Boris Johnson has remained in place, by all appearances.
Another clear evidence of #UK's involvement in the Ukrainian conflict⬇️ https://t.co/fRoJfVKoyU@WSJ: "British Special Forces from the Special Air Service, British Army Special Intelligence, and the Navy's Special Aircraft Landing Service operate in close proximity to the front…— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) May 24, 2023
Johnson in the opening months of the war was reported to have actively thwarted peace talk initiatives which had seemed promising at the time. Johnson also personally lobbied President Zelensky on multiple occasions to not give an inch of compromise with the Russian side.
In the potential scenario of a total break in Russia-UK diplomatic relations, and the mutual closures of embassies and consulates, this would bring the world a big step closer to major war between Moscow and NATO, given the breakdown in communications which heightens risk of military confrontation.