The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that fighter jets were captured last week and directed into the Black Sea to prevent a Dutch frigate from entering Russian waters. The Dutch side claims that the machines “flyed at a dangerous height”. “There is no justification for this kind of aggressive action,” the local defense minister said.
On Tuesday, Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bielefeld said that Russian air-to-surface missile fighters harassed a Dutch naval frigate in the Black Sea last week, launching mock attacks and disrupting communications systems. “I flew dangerously low and close,” wrote a statement on the ministry’s website.
Bielefeld explained that the Dutch frigate Everzen was sailing with a group of British ships patrolling at the time. The defense minister called the Russian action “irresponsible.” “Evertson had every right to go there,” she said. Noting that there is no justification for this type of aggressive action, which unnecessarily increases the risk of accidents.
The minister announced that the Dutch government would like to clarify the matter at the diplomatic level.
The Russian Ministry of Defense replied that “The Black Sea Fleet, while observing the activities of NATO ships in the Black Sea, Thursday, June 24, concluded that the Dutch naval frigate in neutral waters had changed course and began sailing towards the Kerch Strait. “In order to prevent violation of the territorial waters limits. For the Russian Federation, Su-30 fighters and Su-24 bombers were captured” – he explained.
The Russian planes were said to be flying at a safe distance from the Dutch ship. “The flight of Russian aircraft was carried out in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Dutch ministry said the frigate was patrolling the Black Sea with the British ship HMS Defender. This – according to the Russian Defense Ministry – was bombed in a warning last week. The British side denied the reports of the Russians.
Main image source: defensie.nl