Russia has once again stressed that it will take all the necessary measures if its territorial waters off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea are violated.
“[Both at the level of] the Russian president and other levels it has been stated many times that Russia would take appropriate measures in the event of violations of the state border at sea,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russia’s Tass news agency on Wednesday.
“The border guards will take steps stipulated by all instructions in the event of state border violations and certainly, all diplomatic tools will be also used.”
“So, in this case, every time when Russia’s state border is violated, the necessary measures will be taken.”
On June 23, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported an intrusion by the UK HMS Defender in the Russian territorial waters in Crimea.
Russian warships at the time had fired warning shots upon the intrusion.
Moscow has warned the UK and the US against “tempting fate” by sending warships near the Russian territorial waters in the strategic sea.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that the UK Royal Navy ships would continue entering Ukrainian territorial waters.
Raab said of the Russian warning incident that the British vessel was taking the shortest and the most direct route in the tense region.
The UK “had every right to conduct innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters according to international law,” Raab said. “That’s what we’ll continue to do.”
The Black Sea has gone through tension over the past few years. Ukraine and NATO member states hold military drills there. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet monitors the maneuvers. The circumstances often lead to frictions in relations between the West and Moscow.
On March 17, 2014, Ukraine’s Crimea declared independence, and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum. This was the reason the relations between Moscow and the West plunged into a free fall. The West claims Russia has annexed the region. Moscow rejects the allegation.