Tensions Rise as Russia Warns Britain: Sail Near Crimea Again and Your Sailors Will Get Hurt

A senior Russian security official warned Britain on Wednesday not to sail its warships near Russian-annexed Crimea again unless it wanted its sailors to get hurt.

The warning, issued by Mikhail Popov, deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, follows an incident last month when British warship HMS Defender exercised what London said were internationally recognised freedom of navigation rules in Ukrainian territorial waters near Crimea.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and says the waters around it belong to Moscow now despite most countries continuing to recognise the peninsula as Ukrainian.

It protested strongly against the British move at the time with a coastguard vessel firing warning shots and summoned the British ambassador for an explanation.

Popov, in an interview in the state Rossiiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, said Britain’s behaviour and its subsequent reaction to the incident was bewildering.

In particular, he criticised suggestions from…

Continue reading at SCMP.COM

 

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