The Russian defence ministry said it had scrambled fighter jets and bombers to prevent the frigate from entering Russian waters, according to news agencies. The Russian military said the warplanes flew at a safe distance from the vessel and in line with international regulations.
The Netherlands’ defence ministry said the Russian actions took place over the span of five hours on June 24 and violated rights to free use of the sea.
The frigate, Evertsen, was sailing with Britain’s Carrier Strike Group, including HMS Defender, which was carrying out a patrol in the area at the time.
Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten called the Russian action “irresponsible”.
She said in a statement: “The Evertsen has every right to sail there.
“There is no justification for this kind of aggressive act, which needlessly increases the chance of accidents.”
She indicated the Netherlands would raise the matter with Russia at the diplomatic level.
The Russia’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that it had scrambled fighter jets and bombers to prevent a Dutch frigate from entering Russian waters in the Black Sea, Interfax news agency reported.
The military said the warplanes flew at a safe distance from the vessel.
The Netherlands’ defence minister said earlier on Tuesday that Russian fighter jets armed with air-to-surface missiles had harassed a Dutch navy frigate in the Black Sea earlier this month, conducting mock attacks and jamming communication systems.
Abour 20 planes and helicopters of the Black Sea Fleet and the Southern Military District were involved in drills in Crimea, the Black Sea Fleet press service announced on Tuesday.
A statement said: “Crews of the Black Sea Fleet planes and helicopters and an air force formation of the Southern Military District carried out training with divisions of S-400 missile systems and Panzir missile systems to test the combat readiness of the Crimean Peninsula’s alert force and air defense systems.”
The latest incident comes a week after Russia claimed HMS Defender had been forced to retreat after a Russian ship fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs – with the UK denying Moscow’s version of events.
(More to follow)
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