(UnitedVoice.com) – A senior Russian official has amped up the already dangerous tension between President Vladimir Putin’s regime and the West. Former President Dmitry Medvedev claimed Britain’s foreign secretary is a “legitimate military target.” Is the country now desperate or irrational enough to attack the government of a nuclear-armed nation?
Dmitry Medvedev is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, the inner circle of Putin’s government. He’s a close ally of the country’s authoritarian president, so what he says can’t be ignored. That’s unfortunate because on May 31, he launched a Twitter rant against British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
Cleverly, a Conservative Party MP and a Royal Artillery Lt. Col. in the Army Reserve, said last month that Ukraine has a right to “project force beyond its borders” in response to Russia’s invasion. Medvedev claimed that, according to the Geneva Convention, this means the UK “can also be qualified as being at war” and that, therefore, any UK public official or military officer who assists Ukraine “can be considered as a legitimate military target.”
Russia has a habit of making threats. On May 29, the interior ministry issued an arrest warrant against Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after he made pro-Ukraine statements. However, there’s a real risk Putin could try to carry some of them out. With his battered military still struggling badly in Ukraine, his position at home is weakening. A strike against a Western country might look like a good way to boost his popularity. The problem is that the UK is a NATO member, and any attack on it would be an attack on the whole alliance — and the British also have a history of hitting back hard against any attacker. A Russian strike on the UK’s government would be a very dangerous move, and it’s worrying that Medvedev is even talking about it.
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