Europe

MoD denies shots fired at British warship saying it was routine gunnery exercise

The Ministry of Defence has dismissed reports from Russia that warning shots were fired at one of its warships.

HMS Defender was involved in a routine gunnery exercise and the Royal Navy vessel was ‘conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law’, the MoD said.

Earlier Interfax news service reported a border patrol ship resorted to firing its gun after the British vessel refused to listen to radio warnings.

But in a statement posted on Twitter, the MoD said: ‘No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender.

‘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.’

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