A Russian warship has fired warning shots after the HMS Defender, a British Royal Navy destroyer, violated Russia’s maritime borders in the Black Sea, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday.
Along with the naval maneuvers, a Russian Su-24M attack aircraft carried out a mock bombing run against the British warship, according to the ministry.
“At 11:52 am on 23 June, the HMS Defender of the British Royal Navy, operating in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, violated the border and entered three kilometers into Russian territorial waters in the region of Cape Fiolent,” the MoD said in a press statement.
According to the military, the British warship was warned that deadly force would be used if it violated Russia’s borders. The ship was said to have ignored the warning.
“At 12:06 and 12:08, a border patrol vessel carried out warning shots. At 12:19 a Su-24M carried out a warning bombing run using 4 OFAB-250 bombs at the HMS Defender’s path of movement,” the statement added. “At 12:23 the combined actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Border Forces of the FSB forced the HMS Defender to leave the territorial waters of the Russian Federation.”
The Royal Navy has yet to comment on the incident. The HMS Defender’s automatic identification system (AIS) signal shows the ship to be situated about 40 km off Crimea as of 14:15 local time, and to be sailing southeast.
The Russian Defense Ministry has summoned the attache on defense matters from the British Embassy in Moscow over the incident.