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Even if Russia had sunk a British warship, it would not have caused World War III, according to Putin | UK News

It is unlikely that the world “would have been on the brink of World War III” if Russia had sunk a British warship near Crimea, Vladimir Putin said.

The Russian president claimed that the HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer, entered his country’s territorial waters illegally near Crimea in order to observe in detail how Russian forces would react.

He accused the British warship of operating in synchronization with an American spy plane to monitor Russia’s military response.

“It was a provocation, of course,” Putin said during a live question-and-answer marathon broadcast on state television.

“Even if we had sunk the British destroyer near Crimea, it is unlikely that the world would have been on the brink of World War III.”

The UK has rejected Moscow’s claims that warning shots were fired at the Royal Navy destroyer and bombs dropped in the way of the warship.

A map showing the route of HMS Defender
HMS Defender’s route through the Black Sea

The Defense Ministry said that HMS Defender “was making an innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law”.

The UK, like most of the rest of the world, considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine despite its annexation by Russia in 2014.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-30 10:44:00

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