Nine Russian warships were escorted by the Royal Navy and NATO allies as they were sailing close to UK waters during “heightened levels of activity.”
Allied ships were monitoring “every moment of three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships and the same number of missile-armed patrol boats.”
NATO allies from Portugal, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Canada tracked the nine Russian warships.
The Royal Navy warships were assigned to the readiness Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) who patrol the Atlantic, northern Europe from the Baltic waters.
In a statement, they said, “The Royal Navy and NATO allies have escorted nine Russian Navy warships during heightened levels of activity in the waters close to the UK.
“Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Mersey and HMS Tyne joined Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster in an operation that saw allied ships monitor every movement of three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships and the same number of missile-armed patrol boats.”
“Royal Navy warships joined NATO allies from Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark in tracking the Russians through some of the busiest sea lanes in the world.
“Russian ships had dispersed after their Navy Day in St Petersburg last month and sailed out from the Baltic Sea and into the North Sea for large-scale exercises.”
Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, Commander Will Paston, said: “The Royal Navy demonstrated its flexibility in being able to shadow the Russian Navy units.
“While the Russian Navy operated in a safe and professional manner, HMS Westminster combined with NATO-allied units across the North Sea and Baltic Sea to escort them throughout.”
Lt Cdr Edwards-Bannon added: “Shadowing missions such as this are increasingly routine for Mersey and her sister ships of the Royal Navy’s Overseas Patrol Squadron.”
“This was the first time in recent years, however, that we have done so while under the operational command of NATO.
“As such we raised the NATO flag here in Mersey with pride as we worked closely with fellow service personnel from many of the alliance’s 30 member countries, both ashore at NATO’s Maritime Command HQ in London and afloat in the other allied warships comprising the Standing NATO Maritime Group One.”