17:07 GMT +314 October 2019
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    The Russian Navy's landing ship Alexander Otrakovsky sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey February 18, 2016

    UK Royal Navy Monitor Russian Naval Force Passage in English Channel

    © REUTERS / Murad Sezer
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Royal Navy Patrol ship HMS Mersey and a Wildcat helicopter have been monitoring a Russian naval force group when the latter was crossing the English Channel to return to its Russian base of Severomorsk from Syria, the Navy said in a statement on Thursday.

    "Patrol ship HMS Mersey and a Wildcat helicopter from RNAS Yeovilton were dispatched to follow the progress of three Russian warships/vessels as they made their way up the Channel," the statement read.

    The UK forces took the monitoring mission over from their French counterparts, which were monitoring the movement of the Russian ships through the Bay of Biscay, according to the statement.

    The crew of Alexander Otrakovsky, the Russian Ropucha-class landing ship, is currently preparing to sail in unfavorable weather conditions of the North Sea, a spokesman of the Russian Northern Fleet said on Thursday. The ship was previously deployed in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Russian permanent group.

    This is not the first time UK Navy reports performing such procedure. In December, UK Royal Navy said that frigate HMS St Albans escorted the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov when it was in the North Sea close to the UK territorial waters.


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