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Iran Press TV

Two days before Trump inauguration, UK tests tunnel to France: Report

Iran Press TV

Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:25PM

Britain's military sent tanks down the tunnel linking the country to France to see if the route could be effectively used to send troops to Europe just as Donald Trump was preparing to assume office.

The test was conducted on Wednesday, when five tanks were sent into the 30-mile Channel Tunnel, known as Chunnel, NBC News reported Sunday.

The test was apparently aimed at assessing the feasibility of deployment through the tunnel to Eastern Europe to confront Russia.

The British Ministry of Defense said the test had been planned long ago, suggesting that its timing had nothing to do with the onset of Trump's presidency, following an inauguration ceremony on Friday.

The test could serve as a warning signal to the Trump administration about how serious the Europeans consider the "Russian aggression" to be.

Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have been exchanging praise for one another since the New York billionaire and former reality TV star started campaigning for the 2016 presidential election.

The new American commander-in-chief has on several occasions called for better ties with Moscow, causing concern among some of the US allies especially in Europe.

Apart from that, the new president is not a big fan of US alliances, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

This is while the West considers Russia to be a threat to Eastern Europe.

Russia-West ties have been strained since Crimea joined Russia in a referendum in March 2014.

Crimean people voted to join Russia after rejecting the Western-backed government that took over power in Kiev in February 2014.

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