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Russia condemns British plans to build military bases

State awards ceremony in the Catherine Hall of the Kremlin. Awarding of Maria Zakharova, Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, with the Order of Friendship. (Kremlin.ru / Released)

Moscow has condemned Britain’s plans to build new military bases in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, saying Russia is prepared to take retaliatory measures if its own interests or those of its allies are threatened.

British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson told the Sunday Telegraph in December that Britain could establish the new military bases “within the next couple of years” after the country leaves the European Union.

Williamson said the expansion would be part of a strategy for Britain to become a “true global player” after Brexit.

He did not specify where the bases might be built. But the newspaper reported that options included Singapore or Brunei near the South China Sea and Montserrat or Guyana in the Caribbean.

Speaking on January 11, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Maria Zakharova said Williamson’s comments were baffling and warned that such plans could destabilize world affairs.

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“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 counterproductive, destabilizing, and possibly of a provocational nature,” she was quoted as saying by TASS.

Russia has military bases in several former Soviet countries. It also operates military facilities in Syria and Vietnam.