Moscow says U.S. involved in British warship violating Russian territorial waters

June 26, 2021 - 13:47

Russia has accused Britain and the United States of working together to incite conflict in the Black Sea. The country’s Deputy Foreign Minister says “Washington and London are denying reality... they are trying to provoke conflict”.

Sergei Ryabkov added that “These are Russian territorial waters, this is our border, I can confirm that we will defend it with all possible means, including military”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman says the actions of the British destroyer that sailed into Russian territorial waters could not have happened without approval from the United States. Writing on her telegram account, Maria Zakharova, has noted that the press services of the Pentagon and the White House had recommenced journalists to ask the UK about the incident in the Black Sea.

Zakharova says "Why so? The ship was still in the northwest part of the Black Sea waters in preparations for the Sea Breeze drills held under the U.S. command. American experts note that special ops unit of the U.S, the UK and Ukraine were engaged in trainings aboard the ship at the time of the incident. In these conditions, it is impossible that the ‘peaceful passage’ of the British destroyer was not agreed with the ‘big brother’.”

The warship had travelled three kilometers deep into Russian territorial waters off the Crimean coast when Moscow warned about the possible use of force but the British did not respond. A Russian ship fired then warning shots, while an SU-24M fighter jet dropped warning bombs in front of the warship forcing it to change path. Both the U.S. and the UK maintain that Crimea is part of Ukraine, despite a 2014 referendum in the region to rejoin Russia. The Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, says his forces acted professionally and safely to prevent a provocation. At the same time, Moscow has warned London not to trespass in its waters again. Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told Russian media that in the future bombs would be sent "not only in [the UK warship’s] path, but also on the target." The UK has rejected Russia’s account saying the British destroyer, HMS defender, had sailed through international waters and no warning from the Russian navy had occurred, despite British media publishing footage that confirms the Kremlin’s chain of events.