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United Kingdom denies Russian Federation fired warning shots at Royal Navy destroyer

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Provided by The Canadian Press

RIA Novosti reported that the Russian Defense Ministry summoned Britain's military attache following the incident.

Western countries consider the peninsula part of Ukraine and reject Russia's claim to the seas around it.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the "rude British provocation that defies worldwide law", and said London's ambassador was being summoned.

However, the UK's Ministry of Defence said no Russian warning shots were fired and it did not recognise assertions that bombs were put in the vessel's path.

HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer, is part of the U.K. Carrier Strike Group now heading to the Indo-Pacific region. "As is routine, Russian vessels shadowed her passage and she was made aware of training exercises in her wider vicinity", Wallace added.

The Russian ministry said its warship fired warning shots after the British missile destroyer HMS Defender had ignored a notice against intrusion in Russia's territorial waters.

Relations have been deteriorating for years, notably with Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and United States charges - denied by Moscow - of meddling in the 2016 election that brought Donald Trump to the White House.

However, it was announced earlier this month it would be temporarily breaking away from the group to carry out its "own set of missions" in the Black Sea. In a tweet, he called for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to co-operate with Ukraine in the Black Sea.

The U.S. Naval Institute's news website had reported Monday that HMS Defender's and another North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warship's open-source intelligence data was faked to make it appear as if they sailed directly to the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday slammed Russia's "aggressive and provocative policy" in the Black Sea region, describing it on Twitter as a "constant threat" to Kiev and its allies.

Sergei Tsekov, a senator for the legislature of Crimea, called the British warship's movements "a flagrant violation of global norms and standards", warning that it could "provoke a serious conflict", according to state media.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria border the Black Sea.

"The destroyer had been warned that weapons would be used if it trespasses across the border of the Russian Federation".

Moscow withdrew some of its forces after sweeping manoeuvres but Ukrainian officials said the bulk of them remained.

"Nato.is something that was born in the Cold War area", he said. We presume that it is a military organisation.

In a speech at the same conference before Wednesday's incident, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said "the situation in Europe is explosive", and accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of stonewalling Russian proposals to enhance security by refraining from military exercises near the borders of Russia and alliance members.

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