Russian Vessel Enters Closed Waters in Black Sea
The area in the Black Sea was closed for the Sea Breeze 2019 military exercises
Photo from Ukrinform – UATV
A missile destroyer from the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Smetlivy, entered a Black Sea area closed to navigation. This despite a warning that the area was closed to navigation for the Sea Breeze 2019 military exercise, the press center of the command of the Ukrainian Navy has reported.
“On July 10, 2019, the Russian Federation once again showed its true face and, ignoring the rules of international maritime law, provoked an emergency situation in the Black Sea area. Despite a coastal notification for vessels regarding the closure of the area for conducting the international exercise Sea Breeze 2019, the Smetlivy, a ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, entered at about 8:00am on July 10, 2019 an area closed to navigation, where practical naval artillery shooting was conducted by a naval group of an international coalition, and provoked a dangerous situation,” the report reads.
The graphic from the Ukrainian Navy shows the restricted area of the Black Sea and the location of vessels when the Russian incursion happened.
While in the exclusion zone, the Russian ship was contacted by the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny in accordance with international protocol but the Russian ship is believed to have pretended to have problems with their communication systems.
The press service cited this as another example of Russia flouting international maritime law, behavior that has become commonplace in the Black Sea region.
The Sea Breeze 2019 exercise, a joint Ukraine-United States activity, began on July 1, 2019 and is scheduled to end on July 12, 2019. Around 3,000 troops from 19 countries are participating in the exercise taking place in southern Ukraine and the Black Sea.