19:37 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Smetlivy anti-submarine ship

    Aegean Sea Incident 'Aims to Disrupt Russia's Arms Supplies to Syria'

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    On Sunday the crew of a Russian frigate was forced to use firearms to prevent a collision with a Turkish fishing boat in the northern part of the Aegean Sea in what many in Russia believe was a provocation by Turkey.

    The crew of the Smetlivy frigate spotted an approaching Turkish ship at a distance of about one kilometer. The seiner did not attempt to establish radio contact with the Russian ship and did not respond to signal lamps or flairs.

    After the Turkish ship came within a dangerous 600 meters of the anchored Russian warship, its crew fired a shot beyond the hitting range of firearms to avoid collision.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Turkish vessel immediately changed its course and, without contacting the Russian crew, kept moving alongside the Smetlivy 540 meters away.

    Political scientist Nikolai Dimlevich described the incident as a planned provocation by Ankara in an interview with Sputnik Radio.

    “I’m afraid that provocations like this will happen again and again to make the whole situation intolerable and demonstrate to the world the danger posed by Russia’s naval presence in the Mediterranean, close the straits to Russian naval ships and hamper Russian arms deliveries to Syria,” Dimlevich told Sputnik Radio on Monday.

    He said that the whole incident had obviously been planned in Ankara and there may be more such provocation waiting ahead, especially in view of the Turkish military incursion in northern Iraq.

    “I think this is all happening according to a plan written either by Washington or NATO,” Nikolai Dimlevich said, adding that he Russian crew had acted fully in line with international law.

    “Our ship was in international waters and never strayed into Turkish territorial waters,” Nikolai Dimlevich said.

    The incident came amid Russian-Turkish tensions following the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by the Turkish Air Force over Syria on November 24.


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    NATO, Russian arms supplies, Aegean Sea, analyst, incident, provocation, frigate Smetlivy, Russian Navy, Nikolai Dimlevich, Russia
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