Russia tensions: Colin Brazier tells Russian Ambassador to UK he feels 'personally threatened by Russia'
Colin Brazier and Mercy Muroki spoke to Russia's Ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, who claimed that Russia does "not threaten the UK in no way."
GB News presenters Colin Brazier and Mercy Muroki spoke to Russia's Ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, after Russia has threatened to retaliate if British warships sail again through the disputed waters around Crimea.
Moscow claimed that warning shots were fired by Russian vessels at HMS Defender as it passed through the contested part of the Black Sea on Wednesday. The UK government rejected Russia's account of the incident and denied that any warning shots had been fired.
"I feel personally threatened by Russia," Colin Brazier said to Kelin, explaining how his children attend a school in Salisbury. "Large parts of the town that they travelled to get to school were taped off with police tape, because people had died because of poison that was left by Russian agents."
The Russian Ambassador to the UK insisted that Russia does "not threaten the UK in no way."
In response to the warship dispute, he said: "What has been done by your ships near Crimea was a complete provocation. They were just trying to challenge our guards, our ships."
Former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Lord Alan West, rejected Russia's account of the incident, telling GB News that the it's "not true" that Russia fired warning shots or dropped bombs ahead of the HMS Defender. He said that Putin "creates false news, and he had an agenda within Russia. He wants to come over well to the Russian people and appear tough. And and he used this incident to try and do that. The reality is that Defender was going along traffic separation zones, a recognised route from Odessa to Georgia. They knew that we'd be going along the merchant ships and all sorts of ships actually use that."
He added that Putin "wanted to create this wonderful vision that he’d taken serious action and driven this NATO ship away . . . it’s complete nonsense."
Cabinet minister George Eustice said Moscow may have been trying to make a point, but stressed that the Royal Navy would be prepared to send another vessel through the waters, restating the UK’s position that Crimea is Ukrainian territory.
Dramatic eyewitness accounts revealed the Type 45 destroyer was buzzed by Russian military jets and the sound of naval gunfire could be heard as it sailed from Odessa in Ukraine to Georgia on Wednesday.
Russia also claimed that four bombs were dropped in the path of the destroyer – something the Ministry of Defence said it did not recognise.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said “the inviolability of the Russian borders is an absolute imperative”, adding that it will be protected “by all means, diplomatic, political and military if needed”.
Asked what Russia would do if a similar incident happened again, he said: “We may appeal to reason and demand to respect international law.
“If it doesn’t help, we may drop bombs and not just in the path but right on target if colleagues don’t get it otherwise.”