Saturday 7/24/21
'SEA BREEZE' EXERCISE

Netherlands says Russia flew 'mock attacks' on warship

According to Moscow, the ship Evertsen was on course for Russian territory, more specifically the Crimean peninsula
A Russian jet fighter flies close to the Dutch warship. Photo: Twitter/Dutch Ministry of Defence/@Defensie.
A Russian jet fighter flies low near the Dutch warship. Photo: Twitter/Dutch Ministry of Defence/@Defensie.

Netherlands has accused Russia of flying "mock attacks" against one of its warships in the Black Sea last week.

The Dutch Defence Ministry on Tuesday tweeted that Russian jets caused "a dangerous situation in the Black Sea near HNLMS Evertsen last Thursday."

"The aircraft repeatedly flew dangerously low over and close to the ship and carried out mock attacks," the ministry said, adding that the electronic equipment of the frigate had also been interfered with.

The Russian Defence Ministry said that SU-30 and SU-24 fighter jets flew at a secure distance to warn the warship.

According to Moscow, the Evertsen was on course for Russian territory, more specifically the Crimean peninsula.

"After the approach of the Russian jets the Evertsen immediately changed its course away from the borders of the Russian Federation," the ministry said.

The Crimean peninsula was annexed by Russia in 2014, and the international community still views it as Ukrainian territory.

According to the Dutch ministry, the Evertsen was in international waters south-east of Crimea at the time of the incident.

Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten called the Russian operation "irresponsible."

'Aggressive action'

"There is no justification for this type of aggressive action, which additionally increase the risk for accidents," she said.

Last week, the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in Sevastopol said it had forced a British warship that had come close to Crimea to change course by firing warning shots and dropping bombs.

On Monday, the two-week Sea Breeze manoeuvre began in the north-west of the Black Sea. Soldiers and sailors from Ukraine, the US and about 30 other countries are taking part.

Moscow views the exercise as a security risk and had called on the US to abandon it.

Due to the manoeuvre, Russia also sent the submarine Kolpino to the area for an exercise, the Russia's Black Sea fleet announced on Wednesday.

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