Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Dutch Navy Ship Intercepted By Russian Jets

Dutch navy ship intercepted by jets after turn towards Russian waters, Moscow says – Amsterdam blasts ‘dangerous’ flyover

Fighter planes and bomber jets were dispatched to follow a Dutch naval vessel only after it changed direction towards Russian waters, defense officials in Moscow said on Tuesday, amid a growing diplomatic spat over the incident.

The frigate Evertsen was on course to violate the Russian border in the Black Sea, but was prevented from doing so by Russian jets flying at a safe distance from the vessel, Moscow claimed, in response to Amsterdam’s complaints.

The incident occurred on June 24, just a day after the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender violated Russian territorial waters off Crimea’s Cape Fiolent and was warned off by jets and a coast guard vessel.

While sailing in neutral waters, the HNLMS Evertsen “changed its course and began to move in the direction of the Kerch Strait,” Moscow's Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday. Su-30 fighters and Su-24 bombers were dispatched “to prevent (the) violation” of Russian territorial waters. They flew “at a safe distance” near the Dutch ship, which “immediately” changed its course to the previous route, at which point the interceptors returned to base.

Moscow only commented on the incident after the Dutch Ministry of Defence complained of “unsafe”conduct by the Russian interceptors. In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Dutch said Russian jets had “harassed” the ship in international waters for five hours, flying “dangerously low and close”and “performing mock attacks.”

After “hours of intimidation,” the Evertsen had its electronic equipment disrupted as well, the Dutch government claimed.

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