BRUSSELS — British ships and a helicopter were dispatched over the Christmas holiday weekend to track an “upsurge” of Russian naval vessels passing near British waters, the British Navy said Tuesday, as British and NATO leaders are warning of Russian naval activity at levels unseen since the Cold War.
At least four Russian ships, including a warship and an intelligence-gathering ship, passed near British waters starting on Saturday, the British Navy said. The traffic on the water meant British sailors on the Royal Navy frigate St. Albans spent Christmas tracking their Russian counterparts. Those sailors planned to return to port on Tuesday, the navy said, although they remained on high readiness for further activity.
The ship traffic came days after the head of the British military warned in an interview of the threat of Russian submarine activity near the sensitive undersea data cables that carry Internet traffic between North America and Europe.
“I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression,” said British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson in a statement announcing the holiday maneuvers. “Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests.”Read More...
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