Russia has reportedly intercepted a Dutch navy ship and prevented the frigate from entering the country’s territorial waters in the strategic Black Sea.
The Russian defense ministry was cited by Interfax news agency as saying on Tuesday that it scrambled fighter jets and bombers to follow Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Eversten after it had changed direction toward Russian waters.
The ministry stressed that the warplanes flew at a safe distance from the Dutch vessel.
The remarks were made after the Netherlands' defense minister said Russian fighter jets, armed with air-to-surface missiles, had harassed a Dutch navy frigate in the Black Sea last week, conducting mock attacks and jamming communication systems.
The incident took place a day after a British Royal Navy destroyer violated Russian territorial waters off Crimea and was warned off by jets and a coast guard vessel.
Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna said earlier on Tuesday that any provocative action near Russia's territorial waters in the strategic Black Sea would be testing the country’s red-lines and a "risky experiment" aimed at making the regional atmosphere more tense.
"Testing Russia's red lines is a risky and irresponsible experiment aimed at making the atmosphere in the Euro-Atlantic area even more tense and turbulent if not something worse," Mikhail Ulyanov said in a post on his Twitter account.
Russia's Black Sea Fleet and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on Wednesday stopped a violation of the state border by the British destroyer HMS Defender off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula.
The British military vessel ventured three kilometers into Russian territorial waters, prompting a Russian border guard patrol ship to fire warning shots and a Sukhoi-24M bomber to drop bombs in front of the destroyer. The HMS Defender left the waters following the warning maneuvers.
Russia slammed the trespassing by the British destroyer HMS Defender as a crude violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and called on London to investigate the actions of the destroyer's crew members.
Russia on Friday warned the UK and the US against sending warships near the country's territorial waters off the Crimean coast, saying Moscow would defend its borders by all possible means, including military force.
Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014, and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum, in which 96.8 percent of participants voted in favor of the move, which plunged relations between Moscow and the West into a free fall.
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