A Russian military vessel entered a zone closed-off for firing practice during the Sea Breeze 2019 exercise, the press service of Ukraine’s Naval Command reported.
“On 10.07.2019 the Russian Federation once again showed its true face. Disregarding the norms of international maritime law, it provoked an emergency in the waters of the Black Sea. Despite the coastal message to seafarers about the closed-off region for conducting the international Sea Breeze 2019 exercise, the ‘Smetlivy’, a ship from Russia’s Black sea Fleet, at around 8:00 in the morning on Wednesday, 10 July, entered the zone closed off to navigation, where practice shots were being fired from the ship artillery of the international coalition’s maritime group, provoking a dangerous situation,” the report states.
The Russian ship was queried by the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy in accordance with international protocol, but it pretended to have “communication problems”.
The Naval Command emphasized that this is yet another reason for the global community not to perceive Russia as a predictable subject of international maritime law.
On 1 July, the Sea Breeze 2019 international naval exercise was begun in Odessa. The exercise features participants from Ukraine, the US, Georgia and Moldova. The drill will continue for 12 days in the Mykolaiv, Kherson and Odessa regions, and during them nearly 3,000 naval personnel on 28 vessels and 28 aircraft will hone their skills on land, in the air, and in the Black Sea.