MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Any provocation near Russia’s borders will trigger a very powerful and adequate response, and the UK Foreign Office must comprehend these consequences, Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky told journalists Wednesday, commenting on UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s remark that British ships will "continue passing through Ukrainian waters."
"The Foreign Secretary decided to carry on the provocative rhetoric by announcing potentially new prospects of expeditions by British destroyers to the shores of Crimea. When risking such statements, Dominic Raab must also comprehend the consequences and reactions of Russia," Slutsky forewarned.
According to the official, "[these] games involving illegal violations of the border for a demonstrative display of disrespect for the choice Crimeans made will be nipped in the bud," and this was previously stated at the highest level.
"Any new provocation of this sort will get the harshest and most adequate response from Russia’s border control," the lawmaker vowed.
Earlier, Raab said, commenting on the HMS Defender incident near Crimea, that the destroyer was following the shortest direct internationally recognized route and that the UK had the right to pass through what he called "Ukrainian territorial waters". The Foreign Secretary claimed that London would continue to act along those lines.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on June 23 that the Black Sea Fleet, jointly with the border guards of the Federal Security Service (FSB), halted a violation of the state border by the UK Navy’s guided missile destroyer — HMS Defender — off Crimea’s Cape Fiolent in the Black Sea.
The British warship ventured three kilometers into Russia’s territorial waters. A Russian coast guard ship fired warning shots, while a Su-24M fighter jet dropped bombs along the UK warship’s path to chase it out of Crimean waters.
The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the UK warship’s operations as a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and urged the British side to investigate the crew’s actions.