The Royal Navy’s HMS Argyle is monitoring two Russian naval ships that have headed through the English Channel as tensions remain strained over Vladimir Putin’s build up of troops on the Ukraine border
A Royal Navy warship is tracking two Russian naval vessels as they head through the English Channel with tensions strained as Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky amid what they called an “ongoing Russian aggression”.
Russia has built up more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine leading the West to fear an invasion while Vladimir Putin has said that they are simply taking part in military exercises.
At the same time on Monday the French military said that it had monitored two Russian ships, the Soobrazitelniy and the Stoykiy, and had now handed over the responsibility to HMS Argyle, a Type 23 frigate, and the US Navy’s USS Roosevelt.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said it was a “normal response” to be tailing the Russian vessels.
They stated: “As part of a unified response with our allies, the Royal Navy monitor the presence of Russian naval ships as they transit through the English Channel.”
Tass, Russia’s state news agency, reported on January 24 that the two Russian vessels had left Kaliningrad to conduct “combat exercises”.
A joint statement issued following Johnson’s meeting with Zelensky outlined how the UK stands “shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression”.
The UK has provided armaments and soldiers to train the Ukraine military on their use in the face of the threat from Russia.
The statement, released by the offices of the Prime Minister and the president, said: “The Prime Minister emphasized the United Kingdom’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”
At a joint press conference with the Ukrainian president, Johnson warned Russia that the United Kingdom will hit Moscow with sanctions the “moment the first Russian toecap crosses further into Ukrainian territory”.
At the same time Putin accused the West on Tuesday of deliberately creating a scenario to lure it into war while ignoring Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine.
Speaking for the first time about the crisis for nearly six weeks, he showed no signs of backing down.
“It’s already clear now … that fundamental Russian concerns were ignored,” Putin said at a news conference with the visiting prime minister of Hungary, one of several Nato leaders trying to intercede with him as the crisis has intensified.