CBSN

Russia mocks U.K. over claims of planning to kill "thousands"

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson leaves Number 10 Downing Street after government ministers attended the first Cabinet meeting of the year, Jan. 9, 2018 in London, England.

GETTY

MOSCOW -- The Russian Defense Ministry is mocking British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson for his claim that Moscow has been hatching plans to cripple Britain's infrastructure.

Williamson said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that Russia has been researching British infrastructure with a view to disrupting it and creating "panic" and "total chaos."

The defense chief, who is widely seen as a possible successor to current British Prime Minister Theresa May as leader of the governing Conservative Party, told the Telegraph that Moscow could cause "thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths" by taking out energy supplies and targeting other infrastructure.

This plotting, Williamson said, is "the real threat... the country is facing at the moment."   He added that Russia would be willing to take action against Britain that. "any other nation would see as completely unacceptable".

Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov on Friday ridiculed Williamson's statement, saying it was worthy of British comedy group Monty Python.

RUSSIA-NETHERLANDS-UKRAINE-MALAYSIA-AVIATION-MH17

Russia's defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov leaves a press briefing in Moscow, September 26, 2016.

Getty

Konashenkov alleged that Williamson talked about the perceived Russian threat to raise his profile. He added that the "silly" claims about Russian plots would merit a medical checkup of their authors.

Russia-West ties have plunged to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis and allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. and European elections.