MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. The British Defense Ministry and the Embassy in Moscow are spreading lies about the incident which involved a British navy destroyer sailing into the Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova wrote in her Telegram channel on Wednesday.
She compared the official statements of the British side and reports that a BBC journalist who was aboard the destroyer and confirmed that the ship deliberately entered the Russian territorial waters. "So, who’s lying: the British Defense Ministry, the British BBC reporter or the British Embassy in Moscow? There is an answer. This time it is the Defense Ministry and the British Embassy. <…> London has lost its manners. I advise the British partners to knock if they want to ‘peacefully enter’ next time," Zakharova wrote.
Earlier on Wednesday, Zakharova told a briefing that Moscow views actions of the British warship in the Black Sea as a crude provocation, adding that the British envoy would be summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. In turn, the British Defense Ministry claimed that its destroyer was peacefully moving through the Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law, rejecting Moscow’s statements about warning shots. The British Embassy in Moscow doubled down on this version, saying that Moscow is describing the incident inaccurately.
On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Russian Black Sea Fleet together with the Federal Security Service Border Control prevented the UK’s HMS Defender destroyer from violating Russian borders near Cape Fiolent in Crimea. The destroyer had travelled three kilometers deep into the Russian territorial waters when it was warned about the possible use of force but did not respond. A border guard ship fired warning shots, while an SU-24M bomber was forces to drop warning bombs ahead of the destroyer before the ship turned back and left the Russian waters. The Russian Defense Ministry qualified the British ship’s actions as a crude violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and urged London to investigate the actions of the destroyer’s crew.