Archive image: USS GEORGE H W BUSH and HMS DEFENDER Archive image: USS GEORGE H W BUSH and HMS DEFENDER. Photo: Flickr - Dan Rosenbaum / Royal Navy Media Archive / cropped from original / licensed under creative commons 2.0/ license link attached below

Britain’s encroachment into the Black Sea is a deliberate and dangerous provocation of Russia says Stop the War in a statement

Stop the War condemns the provocative decision for the UK destroyer HMS Defender to sail into disputed waters in the Black Sea near Crimea. HMS Defender sailed just 12 miles off the Crimean coast, despite warnings from the Russian forces that they regard these as Russian waters. Moscow’s defence ministry said a patrol ship fired warning shots towards the destroyer and a jet dropped bombs in the path of HMS Defender.

The UK government has played down events and denied such a military incident, but Jonathan Beale, a BBC journalist who was on the destroyer said that the ship was indeed harassed by the Russian military. It is clear that the crew of the Defender knew that their action was likely to cause a dangerous incident. Beale reported that ‘the crew were already at action stations as they approached the southern tip of Russian-occupied Crimea. Weapons systems onboard the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded.’

UK government sources have confirmed that the ship’s action was deliberate, saying that ‘it was not there to pick a fight but to make a point. In recent weeks the US and its allies have ramped up their intervention in Ukraine, inflaming an already tense situation that could erupt into a shooting war at any time.

The British government’s use of a navy destroyer to back up US brinkmanship is completely irresponsible. It is a dangerous act of aggression that has nothing to do with defence or security. We call on the government to end its support and participation in NATOs provocations against Russia.

This statement was originally published on Stop the War

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