Warships of the Black Sea Fleet monitor NATO operations to prevent, as did last month the British destroyer ‘HMS Defender’, from violating the territorial waters of Russia
Warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are closely monitoring the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Action ship ‘Rayo’ to prevent it, as the British destroyer ‘HMS Defender’ did last month, from violating Russian territorial waters. The Spanish vessel, which set sail on June 25 from the port of Cartagena, entered the Black Sea on Wednesday to join the NATO Sea Breeze naval operation.
The information on the tracking of the movements of the ‘Rayo’ came from the National Defense Control Center of Russia. «The forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet have begun to monitor the actions of the patrol vessel ‘Rayo’ of the Spanish Navy , which entered the Black Sea on July 7, 2021, to participate in the multinational exercises “Sea Breeze-2021 of NATO countries and partners”, it is stated in the military note distributed by Russian agencies.
But the Spanish Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, said on Wednesday that “I am not sure that this surveillance is taking place, I am not aware of it.” He said this in statements to the media after closing the Security and Defense Conference for the Defense Commissions of Congress and the Senate.
On June 28, the day the Allied maneuvers began, the same Russian Defense Center announced that it would intensify the surveillance of all Alliance ships and Ukraine participating in the Sea Breeze maneuvers, an operation that involves more than one thirty ships, a similar number of planes, some 5,000 soldiers from more than 32 countries, 17 of them belonging to NATO, and they should finish next Saturday the 10th.
Last Thursday, the start of the monitoring of the Italian frigate ‘Virginio Fasan’ was already reported. Previously, on June 26, it was the American destroyer ‘USS Ross’ that arrived in the area. It docked in the port of Odessa and was visited by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. The North American destroyer is equipped with ‘Tomahawk’ cruise missiles.
For their part, spokesmen for the Ukrainian Marine Corps Command announced on Tuesday the start of the “active phase of the coastal component” of the maneuvers. The answer, according to the Russian Black Sea Fleet, is being the land exercises that the Russian Navy is carrying out in Crimea with the use of live artillery fire from multiple launch rocket systems ‘Grad’, self-propelled units. 2S1 ‘Gvozdika’, ‘Sani’ mortars and other armaments.
On Friday, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, General Igor Konashénkov, warned that “despite the fact that NATO maneuvers are naval in terms of their status and denomination, their real limits of military action go far beyond the Ukrainian maritime sector in the Black Sea ‘, suggesting that they are also targeting the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.
Last week, as part of new exercises, Russian Navy ships fired shots in a limited area of its territorial waters, adjacent to the area of action of the Alliance ships. On the other hand, on June 23, Moscow stated that its ships opened warning fire at the passage of the British destroyer ‘HMS Defender’ off the coast of Crimea for “violating” Russian territorial waters. London denied it, assured that it was a “peaceful” voyage in Ukrainian waters and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that the idea of sending his destroyer there was his, since his country does not recognize that Crimea is Russian. The United Kingdom ambassador in Moscow had to go to the Russian Foreign Ministry to explain, where they described the incident as “provocation” and warned that the next time “the ship will be destroyed”, a threat that was also reiterated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his traditional “hotline” with viewers.
After what happened with the ‘HMS Defender’, just the next day, on June 24 in front of the Kerch Strait, also in Crimea, Russian Su-24 and Su-30 fighter jets flew low over the Dutch frigate ‘Evertsen », Who was also taking part in the maneuvers and who had to turn around. The Netherlands Foreign Ministry denounced that “the Russian fighters created a dangerous situation to intimidate the Evertsen ship in the Black Sea”, which did not enter Russian waters. The ‘HMS Defender’ and the frigate ‘Evertsen’ were in the Black Sea from June 14 to July 2.