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ARKHANGELSK REGION, RUSSIA - JULY 23, 2019: An aerial view of the K-549 Knyaz Vladimir Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine at the Sevmash shipbuilding enterprise, a subsidiary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, in the city of Severodvinsk. The Sevmash shipyard is specialized in projecting vessels, manufacturing marine facilities for oil and gas extraction, products for machine-building, metallurgy, oil and gas industry and other industrial sectors. Sevmash also conducts the full cycle of building and testing submarines with nuclear power units. Sergei Bobylev/TASS

The UK Royal Navy has claimed that British warships have been monitoring “significant Russian presence” close to UK waters, the Royal Navy said on Saturday.

“The Royal Navy has monitored nine Russian vessels around the UK in recent weeks. Every move made by the Russians – a surfaced submarine, destroyer, corvette, patrol ship and their supporting tugs and supply ships – was watched closely by eight RN ships from the English Channel and the Celtic Sea to waters close to the west coast of Scotland in a concerted operation over the last two weeks,” the statement says.

“Even with the pressures of Covid, we remain at short notice to respond to threats both in home waters and around the world. Despite the increase in Russian activity, both on the surface and underwater, we are always ready to respond,” First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, said.

The statement points out that the frigates HMS Northumberland and HMS Lancaster, three warships HMS Tyne, HMS Richmond and HMS Kent as well as the patrol ship HMS Severn took part in the operation. They watched the movements of the Vice-Admiral Kulakov, an Udaloy-class destroyer, patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov and two support ships, the B-262 submarine Stary Oskol, and the corvette Boikiy. According to the statement, the Royal Navy warships were joined by French Navy ships.