The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, called on international organizations to condemn the near-disastrous provocation by the British HMS Defender guided-missile destroyer off the coast of Crimea last week.
The British warship, attached to the carrier strike group accompanying the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier now in the eastern Mediterranean, entered the Black Sea earlier this month with the Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen, the two ships joining the USS Laboon guided-missile, interceptor-missile destroyer there.
Yesterday the USS Ross guided-missile destroyer also entered the sea to join the 32-nation, U.S.-led Sea Breeze exercise to begin on June 28. Dozens of other ships and 40 aircraft will participate in the almost two-week maneuvers.
“Ross will join 31 other ships in the Black Sea to participate in the maritime portion of SB21 [Sea Breeze 21]. The exercise scenario designed to bring together military forces from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia to test multiple warfare disciplines in the sea, on land, and up in the air, including surface warfare, land operations, anti-submarine warfare, air defense, and explosive ordnance disposal techniques.”
Chargé d’affaires Kristina Kvien, currently the top American envoy in Ukraine which is co-hosting the war games with the U.S. Sixth Fleet, described the real purposes of the exercise:
“The USS Ross’ participation in this year’s Sea Breeze maritime exercise is a tangible demonstration of U.S. support for Ukraine and is necessary now more than ever. It is part of the enduring commitment that the United States and our NATO Allied and partner nations have made since 1997 to enhance maritime security in the Black Sea.”
The intent of Sea Breeze is the same as that of the British destroyer last week when it entered Russian territorial waters only three kilometers from Crimea and within immediate striking distance of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol: to taunt Russia and attempt to provoke it, afterward blaming Russia for whatever occurs.
After the incident Russia summoned first the British military attaché, then the ambassador in Moscow for a dressing-down.
The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnston has been adamant in defending the action of its warship.
Russian parliamentarian Volodin issued the following appeal via his Telegram channel today: “It would be right for international organizations – the United Nations, OSCE, and PACE and the European Parliament as well – to condemn the British authorities’ actions and call to account those who are behind this reckless step.”
To place the precariousness of the provocation into perspective, he emphasized: “Any provocations against a nuclear power endanger peace and global security in general.”
He also pointed out the fact that neither the U.S. nor the European Union – he might have included NATO – have made any comments critical of Britain’s actions since the event occurred, stating: “Obviously, they are seeking to silence the incident. It is yet another example of double standards.”
The day after the British warship was chased off the Crimean coast by bombs dropped in front of it from a Russian bomber, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov gave this grave warning to the West:
“What can we do? We can appeal to common sense, demand respect for international law. If this does not help, we can bomb not only in the direction, but also on target, if our colleagues do not understand. I warn everyone violating the state borders of the Russian Federation under the slogan of free navigation, from such provocative steps, because the security of our country comes first.”
Britain, the U.S. and NATO are playing with fire in the Black Sea. Nuclear fire.