Vladimir Putin says NATO military border presence could spark ‘unpredictable incidents’

Vladimir Putin discusses US-based cyber attacks towards Russia

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The Russian President sparked war fears after issuing a warning regarding Nato’s military buildup. His remarks came as the Russian defence ministry said one of its warships fired shells at a Royal Navy vessel.

He told a conference on international security: “Naturally, we cannot but be concerned over the continuous build up of Nato military potential and infrastructure near Russian borders, as well as the fact that the alliance is refusing to consider constructively our proposals on de-escalating the tension and reducing the risk of unpredictable incidents.

“We really do hope that common sense together with the desire to promote constructive relations with Russia will eventually prevail.”

Moscow issued a statement on Wednesday saying the Russian Navy intercepted the HMS Defender in the Black Sea.

The Russian defence ministry said the Black Sea Fleet jointly with the Russian FSB Border Service stopped the vessel.

The UK destroyer was accused of crossing the Northwestern part of the Black Sea at 11.52am local time on Wednesday.

Following a verbal request to change the course, two shots were fired by Russian vessels.

The shots were allegedly ignored forcing Russia’s Su-24M aircraft to execute a preventative bombing run which dropped bombs ahead of the vessel and its path.

The Russian Defence Ministry has said: “The destroyer was warned in advance that weapons would be fired in case of a violation of the Russian state border. It disregarded the warning.

“As a result of joint actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service, HMS Defender left the territorial sea of the Russian Federation at 12.23pm.”

But the Ministry of Defence has refuted the claims that shots were fired at HMS Defender.

A statement added: “No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender. The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.

“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.

“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.”

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