LONDON, July 6. /TASS/. UK Royal Navy ships will continue entering Ukrainian territorial waters, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Tuesday, commenting on the HMS Defender’s actions near Crimea.
"HMS Defender was taking the shortest and most direct route. It is an internationally recognized route. We had every right to conduct innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters according to international law. That’s what we’ll continue to do," Raab said, speaking before the House of Commons.
Raab underscored that he fully supports the Defender crew’s actions.
Earlier, The Daily Telegraph reported citing sources in the government that the idea regarding the destroyer’s passage near Crimea became a matter of dispute between Raab, who allegedly was not onboard with these plans, and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who proposed this route. According to the report, the final decision was made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On June 23, Russian Defense Ministry reported the UK Destroyer’s intrusion in the Russian territorial waters in Crimea. Russian military and border control fired warning shot ahead of the ship, forcing it to leave the Russian territorial waters. Russian Defense Ministry called the destroyer’s actions a blatant violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the destroyer incident was a complex provocation carried out "not only by the British but also by Americans." The Russian leader added that the Defender’s intrusion in Russian territorial waters was also a reconnaissance mission.