Russian forces confront British warship in Black Sea military encounter

Russian forces confront British warship in Black Sea military encounter
The Royal Navy's HMS Defender at the port of Odessa, southern Ukraine, on June 21. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: On Wednesday, a British warship became embroiled in a confrontation with the Russian military off the coast of the disputed territory of Crimea.

Russia says in a statement that one of its patrol boat fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs and to turn back a British destroyer it claims entered into its territorial waters in the Black Sea.

The UK Defense Ministry denied Russia’s accusation, saying that the vessel, HMS Defender, was making a legal and innocent passage.

A BBC reporter on the ship said he witnessed Russian naval vessels and warplanes buzzing the destroyer.

Russia said the British warship went three kilometers inside Russian territory off Cape Fiolent in Crimea just before noon local time on Wednesday. A country’s territorial waters extend 22.2 kilometers (12 nautical miles) from its coastline. Any foreign warship going past that limit would need permission of the country to do so with a few exceptions.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a report from Russian state media TASS that shortly after the British warship crossed the territorial boundary, a Russian Su-24M attack jet dropped bombs and a coastal patrol ship fired warning shots in front of the British destroyer.

British officials pushed back on the Russian allegations, saying HMS Defender carried out a routine transit from Odesa towards Georgia across the Black Sea.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a tweet: As is normal for this route, she entered an internationally recognised traffic separation corridor. She exited that corridor safely at 0945 BST. As is routine, Russian vessels shadowed her passage and she was made aware of training exercises in her wider vicinity.”

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