UK denies Russians fired warning shots at Royal Navy warship

The Ministry of Defence has denied claims by the Russia that its forces fired warning shots at a Royal Navy destroyer after it entered the country’s territorial waters in the Black Sea.

The Russian defence ministry said a border patrol boat fired warning shots at HMS Defender and that a Su-24M warplane dropped four high explosive bombs in its path in waters off Crimea.

But in a statement posted on Twitter, the MoD insisted that no such incident occurred and that HMS Defender had been in Ukrainian territorial waters.

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“No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender,” the statement said.

“The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.

“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior warning of their activity.

“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.”