A minister from the UK said that Britain is ready to sail its naval vessels through disputed waters close to Crimea once more, just a day after the confrontation between a British warship with Russian forces in Black Sea.
George Eustice, Environment Secretary, disputed claims made by Moscow that Russian warplanes dropped missiles and that a patrol boat fired warning shots on a British destroyer. It claims the British destroyer entered its territory in the Black Sea.
Sky News’ Eustice said that “this is a very common thing.” It’s quite common. The Russians were actually conducting a gunnery drill and they are often given notice. It’s important to not get too carried away.
Eustice maintained that the vessel was legally passing through disputed Ukrainian waters to Georgia under international law. When asked if the UK would again sail through the disputed Ukrainian waters, he answered: “Yes…because we never accepted the annexed Crimea.”
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dismissed Moscow’s account of Wednesday’s incident, calling it “predictably inaccurate.”
Raab stated that “No shots were fired against HMS Defender” at a Singapore news conference at the conclusion of a three day trade trip to South East Asia.
BBC reporter who was on board the destroyer said that he saw Russian warplanes, naval vessels and other aircraft buzzing it during Wednesday’s flare-up.
Russia claimed that the ship traveled three kilometers (1.9 mi) within what it called its territory off Cape Fiolent, Crimea, just before noon Wednesday. The territorial waters of a nation extend 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from its coast. Any foreign warship exceeding that limit would require permission from the country, with some exceptions.
After a military intervention in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea to Ukraine. After a military intervention in the region in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The international community was opposed to this annexation and still considers Crimea Ukrainian territory.
According to the Russian defense ministry, a Su-24M attack plane dropped bombs shortly after the British ship crossed over the territorial boundary. A coastal patrol ship also fired warning shots in front the British destroyer.
However, British officials refuted the Russian claims and Eustice continued to downplay them on Thursday.
He said, “I’m told this is not what happened.”
“I don’t believe they were sending warning shots. He said that there was a military exercise taking place and that it isn’t unusual for Russians to do so in this area. Therefore, the incident was not unusual in that respect.”
Moscow had denied the accusations of the UK Defense Ministry, claiming that HMS Defender was making legal and innocent passages.