Russia surged war of words over Black Sea warship incident. Both counties went through the roof on Thursday as both sides blamed one another for providing false accounts of an incident involving a British warship and Russian forces in the Black Sea.
Russia claimed that it fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of HMS Defender as it sailed off the coast of the Crimea peninsula, accusing the Royal Navy destroyer of breaching its territorial waters.
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“The Royal Navy ship was taking innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters. We were doing so in accordance with international law and the Russian characterisation is predictably inaccurate .”
‘These are Ukrainian waters’
Russia occupied Crimea in 2014 and Moscow considers areas around the Crimean peninsula’s coast to be Russian waters.
But Western countries consider Crimea to be part of Ukraine and reject Russia’s claim to the seas around it.
Under international law of the sea, “innocent passage” permits a vessel to pass through another state’s territorial waters so long as this does not affect its security.
‘We can bomb’
However, Russia said HMS Defender had ventured as far as three kilometres (two miles) into Russian waters near Cape Fiolent .
The promontory is a landmark on Crimea’s southern coast. It lies near the port of Sevastopol, headquarters of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea fleet.
“I warn everyone violating the state borders of the Russian Federation under the slogan of free navigation. From such provocative steps, as the security of our country comes first .”
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“The territorial integrity of the Russian Federation is inviolable. The inviolability of its borders is an absolute imperative. we will stand guard over all this by diplomatic, political and, if necessary, military means .”
The UK’s BBC news reporter, Jonathan Beale was on board during the incident. meanwhile, she released footage from the British ship showing a Russian officer warning. The Words were: he would shoot if it did not change course.
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Russia surged war of sentences and shots its warning over the radio: “Shots are fired, but they are well out of range”.
The BBC reported almost 20 Russian aircraft were also droning the British warship.