According to Russia’s state-owned TASS agency, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, together with the Russian Border Guard Service of the FSB of Russia, carried out warning fire towards the Royal Navy destroyer on 23 June.
The border patrol ship carried out warning fire, and the Su-24M bomber carried out warning bombing, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.
“At 11:52 on June 23 this year the destroyer URO Defender of the British Navy, operating in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, crossed the state border of the Russian Federation and entered the territorial sea in the area of Cape Fiolent for 3 km,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in the statement.
The British destroyer received a warning about the use of weapons in the event of a so-called violation of the Russian state border, but did not respond to it, Russian sources claimed.
“At 12:06 and 12:08 the border patrol ship performed warning fire. At 12:19, the Su-24M aircraft carried out warning bombing (4 OFAB-250) along the course of the URO Defender destroyer,” the Russian Defense Ministry added.
At 12:23 pm, HMS Defender left the borders of the territorial sea of the Russian Federation.
After the incident, the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov said “Amid the collapse of the arms control system, the North Atlantic alliance is taking steps to move the NATO infrastructure to the borders of the Russian Federation. The deployment of forward forces on the territory of the alliance’s new members has become a priority,”
HMS Defender has completed NATO security operations in the Mediterranean and entered the Black Sea after a short visit to Istanbul. Dutch Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen has been accompanying the British destroyer. One day after, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) entered the Black Sea on a routine patrol on June 11.
Naval Post comment: This incident was the most aggressive action of the Russian Armed forces at sea. After the NATO Summit held in Brussels, talks about Ukraine’s joining NATO disturbed Russia. The delicate balances in the region are very easy to turn to aggression.
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the Arleigh Burke and Type 45 destroyers.