British Army Chief Says War Danger With Russia Is Growing.
The outgoing head of the Defense Ministry expressed concern about the situation on the border between Belarus and Poland.
General Sir Nick Carter, who will step down later this month, said migrants were being pushed from Minsk “to the borders of the European Union” in an attempt to destabilize the region.
He said the action came straight out of the “Russian handbook” amid mounting tensions after the EU claimed Belarus had started transporting migrants to spark a humanitarian crisis on its border with Poland.
Large numbers of migrants, many from the Middle East, are in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian side of the border, and Polish authorities report daily on new attempts by migrants to bridge the gap.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry has accused Poland of an “unprecedented” military rally on the border, stating that migration control does not justify the rally of 15,000 soldiers supported by tanks, air defense, and other weapons.
Sir Nick, asked by the BBC Andrew Marr Show If he was concerned that the situation could quickly escalate to “something really serious,” he replied, “Yes, I think so. I think this is a classic case of some kind of hybrid manual linking disinformation with destabilization, and the idea of pushing immigrants to the borders of the European Union is a classic example of this.”
The Defense Ministry announced on Friday that it would send a small team of British forces to Poland to provide “technical support.”
Sir Nick emphasized that dispatchers were there to help build fences along the border rather than fight the forces.
“What it shows is our unity with Poland and the fact that we are on the side of Poland against these kinds of threats,” he added.
The EU has accused Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko of promoting illegal border crossings as an attack to retaliate against the bloc’s sanctions against his government for cracking down on internal protests following his controversial re-election in 2020.
Belarus denies the allegations but says it will no longer prevent refugees and migrants from entering the EU.
The outgoing head of the armed forces said he could not predict whether the situation would escalate into a “weapons war”, but stressed that Britain and NATO “must be on guard.”
Sir Nick described the Belarusian tensions and troubles surrounding Ukraine as a “classic example of a bit of distraction.”
“If you look at the Russian playbook over the years, the idea of Maskirovka, as they call it, that kind of theater that they put into it, is pretty typical of some things that have been going on for years and years and years. . “he told the BBC.
Since the end of the Cold War, diplomats have now faced a more complex multipolar world, he said, adding that “traditional diplomatic tools and mechanisms” are no longer available.
“Without these tools and mechanisms, there is a greater risk that these escalations or escalations will lead to errors in judgment,” he said. “I think that is the real challenge we have to face.”