According to The Kremlin, the Russian navy and air force expelled the UK destroyer as it navigated off the coast of Crimea last October. However, the UK Ministry of Defence has rejected Russian claims that its HMS Dragon destroyer was involved in any incident near Crimea.
Earlier this week, Vladimir Kulishov, the head of the border service and the first deputy chief of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), told Sputnik that on October 13, HMS Dragon illegally entered the Russian territorial waters near the Crimean Peninsula.
According to Kulishov, in response to the demand to leave the Russian waters, the vessel’s captain reported about communications problems. The UK military ship was pushed to the neutral waters by the joint efforts of the Russian Navy and Aerospace Forces.
“The Russian Federation Navy did not impede HMS Dragon’s passage. She navigated without incident, exercising our right of innocent passage under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” a representative of the UK Ministry of Defence told The Telegraph.
The representative added that the vessel was heading from the Ukrainian port of Odessa to Georgia’s Batumi through the waters that the UK refuses to recognize as Russian ones as London does not recognize the Crimean Peninsula as a part of Russia.
Earlier, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that Russia’s submarines were circling the British coastline and revealed that a Russian Kilo-class submarine was spotted in the Irish Sea in 2020.