Russia warns British ambassador of ‘dangerous’ drone attack in Crimea

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Nov 3 (Reuters) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it had issued a protest to the British ambassador after summoning her over her allegation that British specialists were involved in a drone strike Ukrainian against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

“The move underlined that such confrontational actions by the British threatened to escalate the situation and could have unpredictable and dangerous consequences,” the ministry said in a statement.

Ambassador Deborah Bronnert arrived at the Foreign Office shortly after 10.30 a.m. as a small crowd chanted anti-British slogans and held up signs reading ‘Britain is a terror state’. She left after about 30 minutes.

There was no immediate comment from Britain.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ambassador was to be summoned for Saturday’s drone attack on Crimea, which Russia unilaterally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The statement noted that Britain had been training Ukrainian service personnel for some time. He said this included training divers in “deep sea sabotage skills”.

“There are reports that the British Navy has also transferred a number of unmanned underwater vehicles to the Ukrainian side,” he added.

Britain denies carrying out the attack, but does not hide the fact that it helped train the Ukrainian armed forces and arm them.

After the drone attack, Russia temporarily suspended its participation in a UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal.

Russia portrays Britain as a particularly treacherous Western power, which President Vladimir Putin claims is plotting to destroy Russia and cut up its vast natural resources.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Britain, along with the United States and the European Union, imposed some of the toughest sanctions in history and provided weapons to help Ukraine .

The Russian Defense Ministry also said British Navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September, a claim London has dismissed as false and intended to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.

Reuters reporting; Written by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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