Even during the Covid-19 crisis the Russian scare card is being played in the UK. While flights from virus hot spots continue to land unchecked, the British media is fussing about Russian ships’ ‘high activity’ in the Channel.
As if the Brits didn’t have enough to worry about. They’re in lock down over Corona-virus but now we also have to fear the evil Putin taking advantage of the situation and launching a full-scale naval invasion of the country.
Well, that’s what you might be thinking if you’ve been watching today’s news.
Sky News Breaking informed its audience that Royal Navy ships have been shadowing seven Russian warships following “unusually high levels of activity” in the Channel and North Sea, while Western warships are sailing near Russia’s maritime borders all the time!
The news was first announced in a Royal Navy tweet today as if it was fresh, but Haynes then tweeted to say that actually the “shadowing” ended a week ago?
So why weren’t we told about it all seven days ago? Arguably, people will be more alarmed at the news of “Russian warships in the Channel” when it comes out during a ‘lock down’.
The Russian ships were actually in international waters. They had every right to be where they were.
The Straits of Dover, the narrowest part of the Channel does, it’s true, lie wholly within the territorial waters of Britain and France, but there is a right of transit passage under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
It is of course a great pity that ships passing the Straits no longer have to dip their flag and lower their topsails in salute to the English, but times move on.
Rather than get all Lance-Corporal Jones-style panicky about three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, two Ropucha-class landing ships and two Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates passing the south coast, we be rather more concerned by the fact that flights from Covid-19 hot spots, like New York are still arriving unchecked at UK airports.
Isn’t it crazy given the current situation that people can still come into Britain from places like Madrid, Rome and Tehran? According to Heathrow Airport’s website four flights landed from Madrid today. There’s been over 4,000 Covid-19 deaths so far in Spain and more than 56,000 confirmed cases.
Why are we being encouraged to be more concerned about Russian ships in international waters than we are about flights bringing potentially infected people into the UK? The whole thing is plain (or should that be ‘plane’) barmy.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2020.