Published: Wed, June 23, 2021
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Russian Federation says it fired warning shots at British warship

Russian Federation says it fired warning shots at British warship

The Russian defense ministry claimed on Wednesday that it fired shots after the British missile destroyer HMS Defender ignored a "preliminary warning" against intrusion into Russia's territorial waters.

A statement from the Russian Defence Ministry said of the claimed incident: "The destroyer was warned in advance that weapons would be fired in case of a violation of the Russian state border".

The British embassy's defence attaché has been summoned to the Russian defence ministry, Interfax news agency reported.

These claims were, however, denied by Britain's Ministry of Defense (MoD).

Firing was taking place, the MOD said, because the Russians were already undertaking pre-announced maritime gunnery and flight exercises in the area.

"The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with worldwide law", the ministry of defence said in a statement.

The defence ministry added that "a border patrol ship fired warning shots" and then a Su-24 aircraft dropped four bombs along the destroyer's path.

Moscow said the three Ukrainian ships made an unauthorized passage through Russian territorial waters, while the Ukrainian government insisted that its vessels were simply moving towards the narrow Kerch Strait which separates the Crimean peninsula from the Russian mainland that Russia had blocked.

In April, Russia imposed restrictions on foreign navy ships' movements near Crimea until November in a move that drew strong complaints from Ukraine and the West.

That HMS Defender in the Black Sea to sell warships to Ukraine - against whom Russian Federation has been openly fighting and attempting colonisation regions of for years - may go some way to explain the hostility on Wednesday morning. The Russians said this, too, was a "warning".


"As is normal for this route, she entered an internationally recognised traffic separation corridor", he said, in a statement shared by the ministry on Twitter.

"As is routine, Russian vessels shadowed her passage and she was made aware of training exercises in her wider vicinity".

HMS Defender has been in the Black Sea region as part of the Air Maritime Integration training with the UK's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts.

Beale claimed that HMS Defender did not deviate from its course and continued its journey "almost within 12 miles of Crimea".

Aides said Biden wanted to send a message that Putin was isolating himself on the worldwide stage with his actions, ranging from election interference and cyber-attacks against Western nations to his treatment of domestic critics.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members Turkey, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria all are on the Black Sea but warships from the US, UK and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies also have made increasingly frequent visits in a show of support to Ukraine.

Ukraine is struggling to rebuild its naval forces.

Russia's embassy in Washington late Tuesday night expressed concern about ongoing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drills in the Black Sea. Passing Istanbul on June 10th, Defender was at the Ukrainian port of Odessa by June 18th in company with a Dutch Frigate.

"We call on the United States and its allies to stop military operations in the Black Sea".

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