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Russian Diplomat Says UK Ships Will Need More Efforts to Enter Russia's Waters Next Time

© AP Photo / UK Ministry of DefenceBritish navy vessel HMS Montrose escorts another ship
British navy vessel HMS Montrose escorts another ship - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.08.2021
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LONDON (Sputnik) - It would be much harder for a UK military vessel to enter Russia's territorial waters without notice next time, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin said in an interview with the BBC, commenting on the UK HMS Defender's recent intrusion in Russia's waters near Crimea.
"Next time — we did not say that we can fire ... as some parliamentarians did — but next time, it will be much more difficult for them because it is not for the first time that British ship has done this thing [enters Russia's territorial waters]," Kelin said.
The diplomat noted that the vessel entered Russia's waters without prior notification and did not comply with the country's laws.
"This was not an innocent passage, which is claimed by your government. The message was not at all innocent because it was a demonstration, a special demonstration that ... [these are] Ukrainian waters, which is not at all the fact of life," Kelin said.
During the most recent NATO-led Sea Breeze-2021 drills in the Black Sea, the Russian Navy closely monitored the movement of participating ships. At the beginning of the drills in late June, the UK's HMS Defender destroyer made inroads into Russia's territorial waters near Cape Fiolent in Crimea. The Russian navy was prompt to respond to the incident, firing warning shots to divert the vessel. London denied the shots were fired at all, even though Russia's security service released the video footage of the encounter that confirmed Moscow's account of events.
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