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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (Photo Credit: Valery Sharifulin/TASS)

The Kremlin voiced regret over the incident with the British destroyer in the Black Sea, dismissing this as deliberate and prepared provocation, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

“We consider that the British destroyer has carried out provocation. Moreover, we regret as this was deliberate and prepared provocation,” Peskov said, commenting on the June 23 incident in the Black Sea.

The actions of British destroyer HMS Defender in the Black Sea violate international law, they are unacceptable, Peskov stressed. “Of course, we are concerned over the actions of the British vessel. We consider such actions unacceptable, they are in violation of international law,” the spokesman said.

According to him, Russia’s border guards and armed forces will hold a rather tough stance if anyone tries to stage provocations like this incident with the British warship in the Black Sea in the future.

On June 23, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Black Sea Fleet, acting in cooperation with the border guard force of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), stopped a violation of the state border by the British destroyer HMS Defender off Crimea’s Cape Fiolent. The destroyer ventured three kilometers into Russia’s territorial waters. A border guard patrol ship fired warning shots, and a Sukhoi-24M bomber dropped bombs ahead of the destroyer. After that, the HMS Defender left Russia’s territorial waters.

The Russian Defense Ministry later described the British ship’s actions as a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and urged the British side to investigate the crew’s actions.