Russia to summon British ambassador over incident where destroyer entered Russian territory in Black Sea, Foreign Ministry reports

23 Jun, 2021

The British ambassador to Russia will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow to discuss Wednesday’s incident during which a UK warship, according to Moscow, violated the Russian state border and was met with warning shots.

The incursion of the HMS Defender was reported earlier in the day by the Russian Defense Ministry. The Russian military said the British warship sailed 3km into Russian waters, near Cape Fiolent, in Crimea.

A Russian border patrol ship then fired warning shots and a Su-24m aircraft performed a warning bombing to make the British ship change course and move away, the statement said.

The Russian Defense Ministry issued a note protesting the incident to their British counterparts.

The British side stated that the HMS Defender, an air-defense destroyer, made a routine passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law. It said the Russian side was “undertaking a gunnery exercise” at the time and denied that any warning shots were fired. Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea is debated by Ukraine, which considers its 2014 reunification with Russia illegal. The UK takes Kiev’s side on the issue.

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