The British Navy ships will continue to enter the “territorial waters of Ukraine”. This was stated by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday, July 6, in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons, the country’s lower house of parliament, commenting on the situation with the Defender destroyer near Crimea.
“The destroyer Defender was following the shortest direct internationally recognized route [from Odessa to Batumi]. We had every right to make such a peaceful passage through Ukraine’s territorial waters in accordance with international law. We will continue to act in the same way,” he said.
On June 23, the Russian Black Sea Fleet together with the FSB Border Guard Service stopped the violation of the Russian state border by the British destroyer Defender. The ship crossed the Russian state border and entered the territorial sea near Cape Fiolent for 3 kilometers.
The Russian Defense Ministry regarded the incident as a gross violation of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and called on the British side to conduct a thorough investigation into the actions of the Defender crew.
In its turn, the British Defence Ministry said that the destroyer was making a peaceful passage through the allegedly territorial waters of Ukraine in accordance with international law.
On 25 June, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stressed that the incident with the British ship was a classic provocation.