LONDON: Three Russian ships including a destroyer have entered the English Channel and are being monitored by Britain’s Royal Navy as they pass through, the Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.
The incident is the latest in a string of similar incidents and comes amid tense relations between London and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine and the inquiry into the death of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko.
“MoD can confirm 3 Russian ships being monitored by @RoyalNavy HMS Argyll through Channel. No exercises seen,” the ministry said on its Twitter feed.
“Russian Udaloy class destroyer Severomorsk returning from Mediterranean with tanker and support ship. Due to leave Channel later.”
The Severomorsk, an anti-submarine destroyer, was among four ships which passed through the Channel in November although French authorities denied Russian reports that they were carrying out military exercises.
A Russian warship was also tracked through the Channel in February while the previous month, Britain summoned the Russian ambassador after Tupolev Tu-95 bombers, known as Russian “bears”, were found flying close to British airspace.