Royal Navy warships have been escorting Russian task force vessels off the UK coats, it emerged this afternoon.
Three RN type-23 frigates HMS Westminster, HMS Lancaster and HMS Richmond tracked Slava-class cruiser, Marshal Ustinov.
It is the sister ship of the ill-fated Moskva which sunk in the Black Sea in April.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “The frigates and their helicopters used an array of cutting-edge sensors and modern naval technology to keep close watch in the Celtic Sea and through the English Channel.”
HMS Westminster’s commanding officer (CO) Commander Ed Moss-Ward said: “Maritime security in the sea areas around the UK is crucial to our prosperity and resilience. The Royal Navy routinely responds to escort warships in UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas to ensure compliance with maritime law, to deter malign activity and to protect our national interests. Escorting the Russian task group has demonstrated that the Royal Navy is committed to maintaining maritime security and to co-operating with our Nato allies.”
They have also been keeping a watch on Udaloy-class destroyer, Vice-Admiral Kulakov and tanker Vyazma as the three ships headed home from the eastern Mediterranean after supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since February.
According to one report, a patrol ship HMS Mersey also shadowed Russian military research vessel Akademik Ioffe on its journey south through the Dover shipping lanes into the Channel.
Commander Tom Johnson, CO of HMS Lancaster, said: “Working together allows Nato allies to respond to security challenges at pace and collectively deter potential aggressors. Exchange of personnel further deepens Nato cohesion and interoperability so that the alliance can swiftly and efficiently react to any threat.
“Lancaster’s team work exceptionally hard to ensure we are always ready to respond to any threat at a moment’s notice.”
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