UK denies Russian claim that shots were fired at royal navy ship
The HMS Defender is part of the UK Carrier Strike Group heading to the Indo-Pacific region, but is carry out its ‘missions’ in the Black Sea. File photograph: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire
Russia’s defence ministry has said it fired warning shots at a British navy ship after it entered the country’s territorial waters in the Black Sea, but the British ministry of defence has denied the claims.
Russia said a border patrol boat fired shots at the HMS Defender, a UK destroyer ship, while a Russian warplane dropped four bombs in its path in waters off Crimea.
“The destroyer was warned in advance that weapons would be fired in case of a violation of the Russian state border. It disregarded the warning,” the country’s statement said, adding that the HMS Defender left the territory as a result.
In a statement posted on Twitter, however, the UK ministry of defence said: “No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender. The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.
“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.
“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.”
The HMS Defender is part of the UK Carrier Strike Group heading to the Indo-Pacific region.
However, it was announced earlier this month that it would be temporarily breaking away from the group to carry out its “own set of missions” in the Black Sea. – PA