‘Unprofessional’ British commanders should be ready to talk, top Russian general to RT (EXCLUSIVE)
General Vladimir Shamanov, the head of the Defense Committee in the Russian Duma, called for the restoration of dialogue between Russia and the UK, while accusing a number of British generals of sabre-rattling.
Speaking to RT, Shamanov said he believes it is important that Britain and Russia work together in counter-terrorism and against drug trafficking, but only on the basis of mutual respect.
Cooperation was suspended by the UK government in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis.
General Shamanov called the fight against terrorism and drugs a fundamental responsibility of the entire global community, and thus “it must be shielded from any political disagreements between Russia and the West.”
Shamanov welcomed a recent report by the Foreign Affairs Committee in the British Parliament that highlighted the importance of resuming constructive dialogue with Russia.
The report suggested that “the Government and its agencies should be having a regular dialogue with their Russian counterparts about the causes of Islamist extremist violence and the potential strategies to address it.”
“This shared objective could be utilised to open constructive dialogue with Russia in the area of common shared security and anti-terrorism.”
“Refusal to engage with the Russian government is… not a viable long-term foreign policy option for the UK,” the report concluded.
This call comes after a series of accusations and threats made against Russia by the UK’s senior NATO commanders.
General Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, recently called for the expansion of NATO’s powers on the grounds that Russia is allegedly engaged in “hybrid warfare” to destabilize the continent.
In particular, the British general insisted that NATO could invoke Article 5, which lays down the Alliance’s collective defense principle, on the grounds of cyber-hacking and even “fake news.”
“Do not mess with NATO,” the general said. “You set foot in one of these countries… you’re taking on NATO with all that that implies… so woe betide a nation that does that,” Bradshaw added.
General Richard Shirreff, who preceded Bradshaw as the top British officer in NATO, said that the Alliance must establish a permanent military presence in the Baltics to counter “Russian aggression.”
Shamanov, who previously commanded the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV), criticized these statements as “unprofessional” and “reckless.”
Specifically, he refuted allegations of Moscow’s involvement in cyber-attacks against NATO members pointing to a lack of evidence, and dismissed claims that Russia poses a threat to the Baltic states as “deprived of logic.”
The Russian general suggested that his British counterparts refresh their knowledge of history before “flexing muscles on the borders of Russia.”
Shamanov also invited NATO commanders to observe the impending Russian military exercises, Zapad-2017, to confirm that the Kremlin’s intentions are purely defensive.
Shamanov, however, expressed hope that the report by the British Parliament will materialize into real policy, ending what he called “the anti-Russian hysteria” amongst the Western political and military establishment.