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UK and Russia, tensions on the rise in the Black Sea

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender. 25 June 2021.(Image: Russian Defense Ministry)

Tensions in the Black Sea are on the rise after a British Navy warship breached Russian territorial waters off the Crimean coast on Wednesday.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and the Russian Federal Security Service, had stopped the violation of the state border by the British destroyer HMS Defender.

According to Russia the British military vessel ventured three kilometres into Russian territorial waters, prompting a Russian border guard patrol ship to fire warning shots and a Sukhoi 24 M bomber to drop bombs in front of the destroyer.

Following the warning maneuvers the HMS defender left the waters, but the British side denied that warning shots have been fired and that any bombs had been dropped into the path of the HMS defender.

Earlier in the day, Russia said hostile actions by the British warship near Russian territorial waters could not have been carried out without the US green light.

US and UK provocation of Russia

I mean in the sense that the US and the UK are sending their fleet far away from home and obviously making provocative actions that are directly related to their interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

Yes, of course, United States… and the UK, are guilty of these kinds of unwarranted provocations, intended to create pressure on Russia.

However, the fact of the matter is that these kinds of incidents are relatively common, and they can be expected, the only unusual part here is that Russia is not backing down and is not giving in to the British pressure.

John Bosnitch, Political Analyst and Commentator

Russia has warned that it will defend its borders by all means, including with its military.

Russia's foreign ministry has summoned the British ambassador to strongly protest what it called the British ships violation of its territory.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it delivered a strongly worded protest to the envoy over the British Navy ships "provocative and dangerous actions".

Moscow said London will be fully responsible for any consequences if a similar incident happened again.

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, however, defended the ships decision to navigate inside Russian waters.

In my view, I think it was wholly appropriate to use international waters.

And by the way, the important point is that we don't recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea. This is part of a sovereign Ukrainian territory.

It was entirely right that we should vindicate the law and pursue freedom of navigation in the way that we take the shortest route between two points, and that's what we do.

Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister

Earlier this month, Russia announced a plan to boost its military presence along its western borders to counter increased NATO activities there.

In the meantime, NATO has pressed ahead with its military drills near the Russian land and maritime borders, a move that Moscow deems provocative.

The frequency with which the NATO, let's refer to the United States and the UK as the key NATO powers, the frequency at which they are doing this, and the directness of their approach, there is no, there's no pretend[sic] here that there was an accident. This is an intentional heightening of military tensions.

John Bosnitch, Political Analyst and Commentator

It appears that another cold war between Russia and the West is likely to be on the horizon, this one, however, could prove even costlier than the last one for both sides.


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