Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
According to the Russian president, the incident with the destroyer Defender was provoked not only by London but by Washington too.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused the United States of involvement in last week's military incident involving the British destroyer "HMS Defender" in waters near the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea.
To support his claim, Putin said that a U.S. spy plane with the serial number 63/9792 was involved in the incident.
In that sense, he added: "It is a provocation. That is obvious (...) It was a common thing and it was carried out not only by the British, but also by the Americans."
The Russian president said that last Wednesday morning, at 07:30 local time, a U.S. strategic reconnaissance aircraft took off from one of the NATO air bases in Greece, in Crete, which the president was informed about.
Putin described, "We saw it and watched it well," adding that the British destroyer approached Crimea for "military purposes" and the aim was to see the Russian armed forces' performance in the face of its "provocation."
Russian President Vladimir Putin says a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was operating in sync with a British destroyer during last week’s Black Sea incident. https://t.co/v4WkpfjpwN
Last week Russian coast guard fired warning shots at the British destroyer "HMS Defender" when it entered Russian territorial waters near Crimea, after which Moscow summoned the military attaché and the British ambassador.
The Kremlin then called the incident "deliberate and provoked" and warned London against further provocations.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that in the case that the "unacceptable provocations" by London continue and "go very far," no "options" can be ruled out regarding Russia's right to defend its state borders.
Russia has in recent months denounced NATO's approach towards its bases as well as increased Western hostility towards Moscow.