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15 Feb, 2022 08:37

Russia prepared to fire missiles at foreign ships – senior official

Vessels that illegally cross the country’s maritime border will be dealt with “very directly”
Russia prepared to fire missiles at foreign ships – senior official

Russia is prepared to attack vessels that violate the country’s maritime border and illegally enter its territorial waters, a senior Russian military official said on Monday.

Speaking to the Federation Council, just two days after a Russian vessel reportedly gave chase to an American submarine in the Pacific Ocean, Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov revealed that the country’s armed forces could receive orders to retaliate should the integrity of nation’s territory be breached in the future.

Gadzhimagomedov is the deputy head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff. The official noted, however, that any decision to fire would be taken at the highest level of authority, Russian publication Vedomosti reported on Monday.

The declaration was made in response to an incident that occurred on February 12, when the Ministry of Defense announced that an American nuclear submarine had been detected by Russia’s Pacific Fleet in national territorial waters off the Kuril Islands in the country’s Far East.

According to Moscow, a nuclear-powered attack submarine, after ignoring warnings and orders to surface, was chased away by frigate ‘Marshal Shaposhnikov’, in what the Russian military described as the “appropriate means” of removing a foreign vessel.

Western nations were warned about repeated appearances of their vessels inside Russian waters last summer after the British destroyer HMS ‘Defender’ violated the country’s maritime border near Crimea.

In the aftermath of the incident, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stressed that further incursions would increase the risk of conflict. He made it very clear that Moscow would not stand for continued violations, stating that offenders would be treated “very directly and objectively.”

“It must be explained to them why, next time, that they’d be better off leaving their provocations aside and not coming here because they will get a punch in the nose,” the deputy minister warned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a blatant, aggressive provocation carried out with the United States’ participation, while Britain insisted its vessel was taking the shortest, most direct route from Odessa in Ukraine to Georgia, a course which passes just a few miles from the shores of the Crimean Peninsula.

In 2014, Crimea was reabsorbed into Russia following a referendum. The vast majority of the world considers the vote illegitimate and views the peninsula as illegally occupied by Moscow. London said the boat had passed peacefully through Ukrainian waters.