‘It was a provocation, a complex provocation, carried out not only by the British, but also by the Americans’, the Russian president said during the Direct line show, in which once a year he exchanges without intermediation with the country’s citizens .
Putin recalled that the British vessel violated Russian territorial waters on the afternoon of June 23, but warned that that same day, around 07:30 local time, a US reconnaissance plane took off from a NATO airfield in Greece.
‘We observed it very well. It was evident that the destroyer entered Russian territory for military purposes, trying to discover with the help of the spy plane the actions of the Russian armed forces facing provocations and learn how everything works,’ said the head of State.
The president said that during that time they were observed by the Russian defense forces. ‘We were providing them with the information that we considered necessary,’ he said.
On that day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the British Navy destroyer Defender violated the state border and entered the territorial sea near Cape Fiolent, in the vicinity of Crimea.
The Black Sea Fleet, together with the Russian border guards, stopped the breach of the border by the destroyer: first the ship was warned about the use of weapons and then a warning fire was carried out from the Russian jet fighter Su- 24M, which dropped bombs on the destroyer’s route.
The events were denied by London, despite the fact that videos, photos and reliable information about the event were published.
The Russian Defense Ministry considered an epic fiasco and a dark stain on the reputation of the Royal Navy for a long time, the provocation of the British destroyer Defender in the Black Sea.
The spokesman for the Russian Defense ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, urged the US military authorities and the command of the British naval forces to be guided by common sense when sending their warships to the Black Sea.