Putin’s threats to the West could quickly spiral out of control and unleash a catastrophic world war (Image: GETTY)
THERE is a “genuine danger” of Russia instigating a global war, according to the former UK ambassador to Russia, with Vladimir Putin on the edge of a “major confrontation”.
By OLI SMITH
PUBLISHED: 14:55, Sat, Oct 6, 2018
UPDATED: 20:14, Sat, Oct 6, 2018
Vladimir Putin’s threats to the West could quickly spiral out of control and unleash a catastrophic world war, according to the former UK ambassador to Russia.
Sir Tony Brenton, who served as ambassador between 2004 to 2008, said that there was a “genuine danger” of the world falling into a world war crisis
Speaking to John Humphrys on Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Tony warned that Russia could shut down the entire power system of Britain.
The shock remark comes as diplomatic tensions over European claims of Russian espionage continue to mount.
Russia has been accused of behaving like a “pariah state” after allegations the Kremlin tried to hack the UK Government and the international body that headed the Salisbury Novichok probe.
Dutch authorities said they thwarted a Russian attack on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, with assistance from UK intelligence.
Moscow has blasted the accusations as “another orchestrated act of propaganda” as part of an “anti-Russian campaign of spy mania”.
Sir Tony insisted that the Russian spying was not the most worrying aspect about Vladimir Putin’s approach to the West.
He said: “The espionage and covert propaganda side of this has been going on forever.
“We can express outrage but I suspect they will be enjoying our outrage and they will carry on with it, regardless.
“The bit that does matter and is genuinely dangerous are the Russian cyberattacks on infrastructure like the Ukranian power attack.
“There is a quiet war of that sort going on with the Russians taking a lead.
“The danger is that someone will do something that will escalate out of control, like close down a country’s entire power system.
“If that happens, we are into a major confrontation and we have no ways of controlling that.
“This is similar to how the threat of nuclear weapons played out.”
Amid growing concern over the Russian threat, America’s most senior naval officer in Europe, Admiral James Foggo raised the alarm over Russia’s newest fleet of submarines.
He told reporters at the Pentagon: “We’ve seen creation of new classes of all sorts of submarines and ships. I’m more concerned with submarine warfare.”
Admiral Foggo claimed that Russian cruise missiles on the submarines were capable of reaching “any capital of Europe”.