Russia warns British plans for military bases in South China Sea and Caribbean could lead to retaliation


Moscow on Friday condemned British plans for military bases in South East Asia and the Caribbean, and warned of retaliation if Russian interests or those of its allies were threatened.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told The Telegraph in an interview before the New Year that the UK would ramp up its military presence abroad after Brexit and open two new bases. Whitehall is reportedly considering building the bases in Singapore or Brunei in the South China Sea and in Montserrat or Guyana in the Caribbean.

On Friday, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told journalists that Mr Williamson’s remarks were “destabilising” and would lead to the “further militarisation of British politics”.

“Of course, Britain like any other country is independent when it comes to its military construction plans. But against the backdrop of overall rising military and political tensions in the world … statements about the desire to build up its military presence in third countries are counter-productive, destabilising and possibly of a provocative nature,” she said.

“In the event of any measures that pose a threat to Russia’s security or that of its allies our country reserves the right to take appropriate retaliatory measures.”