Prince to join big­gest war games against Rus­sia

The Sunday Independent - - WORLD - Reuters Sput­nik African Reuters African News Agency (ANA)

PRINCE Harry will take part in one of Britain’s big­gest 12-week-long war games against a Rus­sian in­va­sion, The Mir­ror re­ported, cit­ing mil­i­tary and Royal sources.

Although the 34-year-old Duke of Sus­sex left the Armed Forces in June 2015, he will join some 1 000 Marines in Nor­way to “pro­tect” Europe’s north­ern flank in the event of mil­i­tary strikes by Moscow, said the re­port.

Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, re­port­edly told his con­fi­dants that he was thrilled to be back in the mil­i­tary fold. LON­DON: The sit­u­a­tion around Paul Whe­lan, who was de­tained in Rus­sia on spy charges, is se­ri­ous but it is counter-pro­duc­tive to raise the is­sue about his pos­si­ble swop, Rus­sian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Ryabkov told Sput­nik yes­ter­day.

“As for the pos­si­bil­ity of these or those swops, it is im­pos­si­ble and im­proper to raise this is­sue now that he has not even been for­mally charged yet,” Ryabkov said, asked whether it was pos­si­ble to ex­change Whe­lan for a Rus­sian cit­i­zen, Maria

The Royal Marines left for Nor­way on New Year’s Day from their base at Bick­leigh Bar­racks in Devon.

Some 8 000 troops will be in­volved in the ex­er­cise, in­clud­ing sol­diers from Europe and the US.

In late Sep­tem­ber, UK De­fence Sec­re­tary Gavin Wil­liamson an­nounced that Britain sought to boost its mil­i­tary pres­ence in the Arc­tic this year amid con­cerns about “Rus­sian ag­gres­sion”.

He said that the per­son­nel would be sent to Nor­way every win­ter for the next decade along­side US and Dutch marines, as well as Nor­we­gian troops. Butina, who was de­tained in the US.

“As we un­der­stand, he has ar­rived to Rus­sia to carry out spy­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in vi­o­la­tion of the Rus­sian leg­is­la­tion,” Ryabkov said.

Britain cau­tioned Rus­sia on Fri­day that peo­ple should not be used as diplo­matic pawns after Whe­lan, a for­mer US ma­rine who also holds a Bri­tish pass­port, was de­tained in Moscow on es­pi­onage charges.

Whe­lan was ar­rested by the FSB state se­cu­rity ser­vice last month. His fam­ily said he was in Moscow to

Ten­sions be­tween Rus­sia and the UK have been sim­mer­ing since Lon­don ac­cused Moscow of stag­ing the poi­son­ing at­tack on for­mer Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer Sergei Skri­pal and his daugh­ter Yu­lia in Sal­is­bury last March. Moscow has con­sis­tently de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

In early Oc­to­ber, the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment also al­leged that the GRU (Rus­sia’s in­tel­li­gence) was be­hind a se­ries of cy­ber­at­tacks on po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions, me­dia out­lets, and in­fra­struc­ture across the globe, in­clud­ing the UK.

Rus­sia dis­missed the ac­cu­sa­tions at­tend a wed­ding.

In Rus­sia, an es­pi­onage con­vic­tion car­ries a sen­tence of be­tween 10 and 20 years in prison.

David Hoff­man, a for­mer CIA Moscow sta­tion chief, said on Fri­day it was “pos­si­ble, even likely”, that Rus­sia had de­tained Whe­lan to set up an ex­change for Butina.

Butina ad­mit­ted last month to US prose­cu­tors that she had tried to in­fil­trate Amer­i­can con­ser­va­tive groups as an agent for Moscow. |

News Agency (ANA) as a crude dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign.

Most re­cently, Wil­liamson sent HMS Echo, a Royal Navy ship, to the Black Sea to show Lon­don’s “sol­i­dar­ity” with Ukraine in the wake of a naval in­ci­dent in the Kerch Strait, when three Ukrainian war­ships vi­o­lated Rus­sia’s mar­itime bor­der.

While Wil­liamson said that the move was a re­sponse to Rus­sia’s “in­ten­si­fy­ing threats and ag­gres­sion”, the Rus­sian Em­bassy in Lon­don ac­cused the sec­re­tary of in­sti­gat­ing Kiev to new mil­i­tary provo­ca­tions. | SEOUL: A for­mer North Korean diplo­mat who staged a de­fec­tion to the South yes­ter­day urged an old col­league, Jo Song Gil, who has gone miss­ing in Italy, to de­fect to Seoul, fol­low­ing a re­port that he was seek­ing asy­lum in the US.

Jo, 44, was un­til re­cently North Ko­rea’s act­ing am­bas­sador to Italy. He dis­ap­peared with his wife in Novem­ber, South Korean au­thor­i­ties said.

Italy’s La Repub­blica news­pa­per re­ported that he was un­der the pro­tec­tion of the Ital­ian in­tel­li­gence ser­vice. |

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