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UK Military Chief: Russia Cutting Underwater Communication Cables Will Be Considered Act of War

© AFP 2022 / NELLY FLORESA view taken 06 May 2007 shows the Royal Navy frigate, HMS Northumberland
A view taken 06 May 2007 shows the Royal Navy frigate, HMS Northumberland - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2022
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The warning comes ahead of the upcoming Russia-NATO Council gathering, which will deal with Moscow’s proposal on security guarantees that were put forward last month amid Western media and officials’ allegations about a possible Russian “invasion” of Ukraine.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s new chief of the defence staff, has warned that any attempt by Russia to disrupt crucial underwater communication cables could “potentially” be considered an act of war.

Speaking to The Times, the head of the British Armed Forces expressed concern about what he described as “a phenomenal increase in Russian submarine and underwater activity over the last 20 years”, something that Radakin argued could “put at risk and potentially exploit the world's real information system”.

© AFP 2022 / LEON NEAL(L-R) Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Commodore Steve Moorhouse, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin walk on the flight deck as they tour HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in Portsmouth, southwest England prior to its departure for Asia in its first operational deployment on May 21, 2021
(L-R) Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Commodore Steve Moorhouse, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin walk on the flight deck as they tour HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in Portsmouth, southwest England prior to its departure for Asia in its first operational deployment on May 21, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2022
(L-R) Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Commodore Steve Moorhouse, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin walk on the flight deck as they tour HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in Portsmouth, southwest England prior to its departure for Asia in its first operational deployment on May 21, 2021
He also underscored the importance of Britain developing “hypersonic missiles” to compete with Russia. According to the admiral, “we [the UK] haven’t [got them] and we should”.

Separately, he asserted there are “deeply worrying” tensions on the border between Russia and Ukraine, adding that he had given ministers "military choices" in case of an “invasion” of the country by Moscow.

The claims followed the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) arguing that in late 2020, a Russian “hunter-killer” submarine being tracked by the HMS Northumberland (Type 23 frigate) “came into contact” with the warship’s towed array sonar.

In a video capturing the moment of impact, believed to be the first collision between Russian and British vessels since the Cold War, a crew member of the HMS Northumberland is heard shouting "what the f*** have I just hit?"

This was caught on camera by a UK Channel 5 TV crew who were shooting for the show "Warship: Life At Sea", which airs on Monday evenings.
The developments come as Russia, the US, and NATO prepare to discuss Moscow’s proposals on security guarantees during ministerial meetings scheduled for next week.
Negotiations to this effect between Moscow and Washington are scheduled for 10 January, followed by a Russia-NATO Council meeting to discuss the issue on 12 January, and the summit of Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) the following day.
A view shows Mont-Blanc bridge decorated with flags of the USA and Russia ahead of the June 16 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Geneva, Switzerland - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
World
Russia Will Seek Firm Security Guarantees From US During Geneva Talks on 10 January
On 17 December, Russia released proposals for security guarantees to NATO and the US, which specifically seek to prevent the alliance from expanding eastwards, and to ban the deployment of American and Russian intermediate and short-range missiles within reach of each other's territory.
This unfolds amid Western media reports about an alleged Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border and claims of Moscow preparing for an “invasion”. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying it has the right to relocate troops within its sovereign territory and at its own discretion, while making it clear that NATO's military activity near Russian borders poses a threat to its security.
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