The “Stop the War” coalition condemns British adventurism in the Black Sea

24 Jun 2021

“The British government and its militarily is playing very dangerous games. Earlier this week there was a critical military incident in the Black Sea in which a British war ship was pushed back as it encroached on disputed waters in the Black Sea. We released the following statement:

Stop the War condemns the provocative decision for the UK destroyer HMS Defender to sail into disputed waters in the Black Sea near the Crimea. HMS Defender sailed just 12 miles off the Crimean coast, despite warnings from the Russian forces that they regard these as Russian waters. Moscow’s defence ministry said a patrol ship fired warning shots towards the destroyer and a jet dropped bombs in the path of HMS Defender.

The UK government has played down events and denied such a military incident, but Jonathan Beale, a BBC journalist who was on the destroyer said that the ship was indeed harassed by the Russian military. It is clear that the crew of the Defender knew that their action was likely to cause a dangerous incident. Beale reported that, ‘the crew were already at action stations as they approached the southern tip of Russian-occupied Crimea. Weapons systems on board the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded.’

UK government sources have confirmed that the ship’s action was deliberate, saying that ‘it was not there to pick a fight but to make a point’. In recent weeks the US and its allies have ramped up their intervention in Ukraine, inflaming an already tense situation which could erupt into a shooting war at any time.

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The British government’s use of a navy destroyer to back up US brinkmanship is completely irresponsible. It is a dangerous act of aggression that has nothing to do with defence or security. We call on the government to end its support and participation in NATOs provocations against Russia.”

Published at www.stopwar.org.uk