A top Russian official has warned a British warship will be bombed the next time it sails too close to Crimea after warning shots were discharged at HMS Defender on Wednesday.
The British Type 45 destroyer sailed within a 12 mile limit of Crimea near Cape Fiolent in the Black Sea which Russia claims as its own territory but the West sees as international waters.
After the flashpoint, which saw 20 Su-24s humming over the Royal Navy vessel, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov warned: ‘What can we do? We can appeal to common sense, demand respect for international law, and he said that if this didn’t help, they can bomb not only in the direction but also on target if their colleagues don’t understand.
He said that he warned everyone violating the state borders of the Russian Federation under the slogan of free navigation, from such provocative steps, because the security of their country came first.
Backing up his comments, the Kremlin said Moscow would react harshly to any similar actions in the future and advised against any further provocations.
Despite their warnings, British minister George Eustice said that of course Royal Navy ships would continue to navigate through the disputed waters around Crimea, saying that they’ve never accepted the annexation of Crimea – these were Ukrainian territorial waters.
In the meantime, Britain’s Chair of the Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood, admitted there’s a possibility of a skirmish flaring up with Britain’s deadly game of sailing in disputed waters.
The former Defence Secretary told BBC 4 that there was a huge scope for an accident to occur, misinterpretation, leading to an actual kinetic engagement and it could be a bit of time before somebody grabs that red phone and soothes things down.
Russia claimed to have shot at HMS Defender and to have dropped four bombs from a Su-24M warplane in waters ahead of the Royal Navy vessel, but Britain has dismissed the Russian version and insists HMS Defender was either in Ukrainian or international waters at the time.
Many Western nations don’t accept Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea by military force as being legitimate in law.
Britain’s ambassador Deborah Bronnert will be summoned to the Russian foreign ministry to give an account for HMS Defender’s activities.
Ryabkov said that they were offended by their (the UK’s) behaviour, and they would like to note that balancing on the brink of confrontation was laden with pretty serious consequences for those who plan such events and then try to carry them out.
We are currently undertaking war games with Ukraine, and this is why they’re disconcerted, and we’re currently on a war footing with them, so of course, they’re upset, and it’s like poking the bear when it doesn’t need to be poked at this time, but it does look like they’re looking for any excuse, and we’re living in extremely uncertain times.
The UK should back off because Russia would bomb us back into the stone age, and we can’t rely on the current US government to back us up, not with someone like Joe Biden in the White House at the moment because he probably still thinks we’re in the cold war.
The United Kingdom at the moment are behaving like a world power, and it isn’t, and it’s pretty arrogant of them to believe that they are, and we’re better off leaving them alone because do the United Kingdom think they could stand up to Russia?