Foreign Ministry on British invasion: Russia to rebuff violators of its borders

Foreign Ministry on British invasion: Russia to rebuff violators of its borders

Russia has the right to "bomb on target", when foreign warships violate its sea borders, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday commenting on the incident in the Black Sea.

"What can we do? We can appeal to common sense, demand respect for international law. If this does not help, we can bomb not only in the direction, but also on target, if our colleagues do not understand. I warn everyone violating the state borders of the Russian Federation under the slogan of free navigation, from such provocative steps, because the security of our country comes first," he said.

"The territorial integrity of the Russian Federation is inviolable. The inviolability of its borders is an absolute imperative, we will stand guard over all this by diplomatic, political and, if necessary, military means," Ryabkov said.

Spokeswoman for the ministry Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Wednesday that Moscow views the actions of a British destroyer that sailed into Russia’s territorial waters in the Black Sea as a crude provocation, British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert will be summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

"The Defense Ministry of our country has already shared its professional review of the reckless actions of the British navy destroyer in the Black Sea. I would like to add that we view it as a crude provocation by the UK which runs counter to international and Russian law. I also inform that the British ambassador will be summoned to our Foreign Ministry," she said

On June 23, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Black Sea Fleet, acting in cooperation with the border guard force of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), stopped a violation of the state border by the destroyer HMS Defender off Crimea's Cape Fiolent. The destroyer ventured three kilometers into Russia's territorial waters. A border guard patrol ship fired warning shots, and a Sukhoi-24M bomber dropped bombs ahead of the destroyer. After that, the HMS Defender left Russia's territorial waters.

The Russian defense ministry later described the British ship's actions as a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and urged the British side to investigate the crew's actions.