UK Moves Against Russian Diplomatic Personnel & Sites 'Used For Intel Purposes'

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 09, 2024 - 06:45 AM

The British government announced Wednesday it has expelled an official of the Russian embassy for being "an undeclared military intelligence officer."

The action comes amid an apparent broader pressure and essentially a war on Russian diplomatic facilities and personnel in the UK, with interior minister James Cleverly briefing parliament that multiple Russian-owned properties will be downgraded from having diplomatic status and protections.

He alleged that Russian sites in Sussex as well as in London will see their diplomatic immunity removed. Cleverly told parliament that "we believe have been used for intelligence purposes."

Via Reuters

New restrictions will also be placed on the amount of time Russian diplomats can spend in the country, given recent "malign" Russian activity in the UK, according to the interior minister's words.

One reported example was an arson attack on a Ukrainian-linked business, which the UK alleged had ties all the way back to the Kremlin.

All of this also comes as both countries are trading very serious and rapidly escalating threats in the wake of Foreign Secretary David Cameran saying while on a trip to Kiev earlier this week that the UK is fine with Ukraine using British-supplied weapons to attack Russian territory.

He had stated provocatively, "Ukraine has that rightJust as Russia is striking inside Ukraine, you can quite understand why Ukraine feels the need to make sure it's defending itself."

Russia's foreign ministry in response promptly summoned UK Ambassador to Moscow Nigel Casey over the remarks. "Casey was warned that the response to Ukrainian strikes using British weapons on Russian territory could be any British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and beyond," the ministry stated after the meeting.

Importantly, the Kremlin laid out that Cameron's words mean he "de facto recognized his country as a party to the conflict." This marked possibly the first time that the Russian government specifically threatened to attack British military installations and equipment within Ukraine and beyond.

But on Wednesday Cleverly told parliament that the British people will not be bullied by Kremlin propaganda: "This is not new and the British people and the British Government will not fall for it, and will not be taken for fools by (President Vladimir) Putin’s bots, trolls and lackeys," he said.

"Russia’s explanation was totally inadequate. Our response will be resolute and firm," he added of alleged Russian malfeasance on UK soil. "Our message to Russia is clear: stop this illegal war, withdraw your troops from Ukraine, cease this malign activity."