The crisis of the British ship in the Black Sea between Moscow and London escalated today, Thursday. While the former threatened to strike any intrusive ship that might threaten its security, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that his country’s ship was operating legally in international waters off the coast of Crimea, annexed by Russia.
“We do not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, so we consider that our ship was in Ukrainian waters,” he said.
This came hours after the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it had summoned the British ambassador over the Black Sea incident.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Moscow announced that it had fired warning shots against the British destroyer, which it accused of entering its territorial waters off the coast of Crimea.
The Russian Defense Ministry also explained that the ship “did not respond to the alert, so a “border patrol boat fired some warning shots”, while the Su-24M carried out a “precautionary bombing operation along the destroyer’s path.”
From the Black Sea – AFP
She stated that the British ship then left Russian waters at the end of the accident, which lasted more than twenty minutes, denouncing the “dangerous behavior” of the destroyer’s crew, and calling on London to open an “in-depth investigation” into the accident.
It also considered the incident a “flagrant violation of the United Nations Convention.”
However, the British authorities denied the matter, and the Ministry of Defense confirmed that “no warning shots were directed at HMS Defender” and that “the announcement about the firing of bombs in its line of sail” was incorrect. She explained that “the ship of the Royal Navy was making a simple transit in the territorial waters of Ukraine in accordance with international law,” adding, “We believe that the Russians were carrying out shooting exercises in the Black Sea.”
Hours before the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that his country was “concerned about NATO strengthening its capabilities and infrastructure close to the Russian borders.”
It is noteworthy that it is not uncommon for accidents to occur between planes or ships on the borders of Russia, especially during periods of tension with the West, but warning shots will set a precedent if proven.
Most of the accidents occur in the Baltic Sea or the Adriatic Sea, and incidents are rarely recorded in the Russian Far East, where Moscow announced, on Wednesday, the interception of an American spy plane over the Sea of Okhotsk.