Russia summons UK Envoy amid tensions over Ukraine strikes, nuclear drills

According to Russian state media, Ambassador Nigel Casey was called to the foreign ministry, although no official reason was given initially.

Russia’s tension with the West over the Ukraine war continued escalating on Monday as Moscow summoned the British ambassador reportedly over recent comments about Ukraine’s potential use of British weapons to strike inside Russian territory.

According to Russian state media, Ambassador Nigel Casey was called to the foreign ministry, although no official reason was given initially. However, the move came just days after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he would have “no issue” with British-supplied weapons being used by Ukraine to hit military targets on Russian soil.

Cameron’s remarks prompted outrage from Moscow, which warned the UK it is becoming “more and more involved” in the conflict. Russian officials have cited such statements from Western leaders as justification for upcoming nuclear weapons drills aimed at simulating tactical nuclear strikes.

Ukraine’s president and other officials have vowed to use force, including potentially conducting cross-border attacks, to disrupt Russian military logistics and supply lines supporting the invasion. As Russia’s main backer, Britain’s position on facilitating those efforts appears to have crossed a red line for the Kremlin.

The public diplomatic rebuke of London coincides with weeks of Russian rhetoric about the potential use of nuclear weapons, which it insists is not a bluff. Over the weekend, Russian state TV aired an analysis explicitly suggesting nuclear strikes could be used to stop Western arms supplies to Ukraine.

For their part, British officials have pushed back against Russia’s nuclear sabre-rattling as irresponsible brinkmanship. Foreign Secretary Cameron reiterated the UK’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity while warning further Russian escalation would be a “strategic mistake” with severe consequences.