MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. A Dutch frigate was moving towards the Kerch Strait and fighters and bombers were scrambled to prevent border violation, the Russian Defense Ministry told the media on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Dutch Defense Ministry claimed that Russian fighters created an unsafe situation in the Black Sea by flying too low over the frigate The Evertsen. The incident occurred the next day after a British frigate intruded into Russia's territorial waters.
"On June 24, 2021 the Black Sea Fleet's means of monitoring NATO ships' movements in the Black Sea established that the Dutch frigate The Evertsen changed course in international waters and started moving towards the Kerch Strait. To prevent a violation of Russia's territorial waters Sukhoi-30 fighters and Sukhoi-24 bombers were scrambled to fly near the Dutch naval ship at a safe distance," the Defense Ministry said, adding that the frigate promptly turned away from the Russian border and continued along the original course.
The planes strictly followed international rules, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"All flights by Russian planes were carried out in strict compliance with international rules of using airspace," it said.
The planes returned to base after fulfilling their flight assignment.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands accused Russian fighters of flying dangerously close to the Dutch frigate Evertsen in the Black Sea, creating an unsafe situation. According to the ministry the incident occurred last Thursday when the warship stayed southeast of Crimea. "The planes repeatedly harassed the Evertsen between 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. local time," the Dutch top brass alleged.
According to the Dutch side, "the fighters were armed with bombs and air-to-surface missiles intended to strike targets from the air" and "flew dangerously close by and low [over the frigate], performing feint attacks." Besides, the frigate suffered disruptions of its electronic equipment after the flyover, it added.