UK ships to continue to sail waters near Crimea after HMS defender incident

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday that the country’s vessels would keep the route through Crimean waters despite a recent incident involving the UK’s HMS Defender destroyer.

“HMS Defender was taking the shortest and most direct route. It is an internationally recognised traffic route. We’ve got every right to conduct innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters, according to international law. That’s what we’ll continue to do”, Raab told a parliamentary committee.

For its part, the UK Defence Ministry said the destroyer was en route from Ukraine’s Odessa to Georgia, and there were no warning shots at all. According to the footage published by the Russian security service FSB, the ship ignored warnings about the use of weapons and only left the waters near Crimea after warning shots.

The warship entered what Moscow considers a Russian maritime area near Cape Fiolent in Crimea on 23 June. The Russian navy had to fire warning shots to divert the vessel.

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