Russia warns UK, US not to tempt fate with warships in Black Sea

18:59, 25 June 2021
Russia warns UK, US not to tempt fate with warships in Black Sea Photo:

The Russian Defense Ministry has called on the Pentagon and the command of the UK naval forces "to be guided by reason" when dispatching their warships to the Black Sea in the wake of the British warship Defender incident, Ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the reporters on Friday.

"We call on the Pentagon and the command of the British naval forces, who send their warships to the Black Sea, not to tempt fate pandering to the Ukrainian ‘mosquito fleet admirals’ but to be guided by reason instead," he said, adding that the incident was nothing more than "epic fiasco of a provocation."

Commenting on statements of former Rear Admiral John Kirby, who said earlier that the entry of Defender to the waters off Crimea’s Cape Fiolent was a "Russian disinformation", MoD spokesperson Konashenkov said Russian authorities didn't find remarks surprising. British command "is fully aware that the Defender destroyer in any part of the Black Sea is a target for the anti-ship missile systems of the Black Sea Fleet safeguarding Crimea’s security".

"The compulsive attempts by London and by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby to deny the obvious and call everything 'disinformation', even after Russia published footage of the warning shots, and despite the direct evidence by the destroyer's crew, are not surprising," he said.

On June 23, FSB border guard service and Border Patrol said the UK warship crossed the Russian waters near the Fiolent-ness in the Black Sea. A coastal guard ship fired warning shots towards the direction the destroyer had been going, as well as SU-24M made a preventive air bomb-dropping. After that, the warship had left the Russian territorial waters.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned that such provocations could lead to dire consequences, otherwise, Russia will use its armed forces to protect its territory.

The British military authorities said the destroyer was conducting "innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters". London described the warning shots as the "practice firing" at the Defender warship.

Crimea became part of the Russian Federation as a result of a public referendum that was held in the city of Sevastopol in 2014.