Russian embassy slams Pentagon remarks about British destroyer incident as groundless

The Russian Embassy in the United States has branded as unfounded the comments of Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby who described the reports from Moscow about warning shots ahead of the course of British HMS Defender destroyer near the Crimean coast as “yet another example of disinformation.”

“Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby’s accusations against Russia in disinformation on the incident with HMS Defender (a.k.a. Aggressor) are groundless. What happened was recorded and published by FSB of Russia. Denying the obvious, Pentagon still lives under illusions on the actual situation in Russian Crimea and around the Peninsula,” the diplomatic mission noted via Twitter.

Kirby claimed at the meeting that the British side was “very public about the fact that there was no shots fired as warning to HMS Defender.” According to him, “That it was simply Russian disinformation, as yet another example of the Russians trying to spin events to suit their own narrative. It just didn’t happen.”

On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Russian Black Sea Fleet together with the Federal Security Service Border Control prevented the UK’s HMS Defender destroyer from violating Russian borders near Cape Fiolent in Crimea. The destroyer had travelled three kilometers deep into the Russian territorial waters when it was warned about the possible use of force but did not respond. A border guard ship fired warning shots, while an SU-24M bomber was forces to drop warning bombs ahead of the destroyer before the ship turned back and left the Russian waters. The Russian Defense Ministry qualified the British ship’s actions as a crude violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and urged London to investigate the actions of the destroyer’s crew.

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