UK Ministry of Defence denies Russia fired warning shots in the Black Sea

HMS Defender. Image: Royal Navy
HMS Defender. Image: Royal Navy

Britain’s defence minister says HMS Defender was making routine transit while shadowed by Russian vessels.

Publisert Sist oppdatert

By Marc Allen

The UK has contradicted claims by the Russian defence ministry that Russian military craft and aircraft fired warning shots at the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender as she sailed off the coast of Crimea this morning.

The MoD said “no warning shots have been fired”.

The UK Defence secretary, Ben Wallace said HMS Defender was carrying out a “routine transit from Odessa towards Georgia across the Black Sea using an “internationally recognised traffic separation corridor”.

Mr. Wallace said Defender exited the TTS at around 09:45 UTC and that Russian vessels shadowed her passage.

Defence sources told the Guardian that Russian forces were undertaking routine exercises in the area and had given the Defender and other ships in the area advance warning of gunnery practice.

Russia’s defence ministry said the incident occurred near Cape Fiolent on the coast of Crimea and that the British destroyer made a 3km incursion into Russian territory.

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