“I will do anything to protect my crew,” says HMS defender captain Vincent Owen, following Russian threats

Russia has accused Britain and the United States of trying to incite conflict in the Black Sea, and has said it would defend its borders using all possible means, including military force, Reuters reports.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was speaking a day after Moscow warned Britain it would bomb British naval vessels in the Black Sea if what it called provocative actions by the British navy were repeated off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea.

Russian news agency RIA quoted Ryabkov as saying Washington and London were sowing strife in the region by failing to accept Crimea as a part of Russia.

"Washington and London are denying reality... they are trying to provoke conflict," he said. "These are Russian territorial waters, this is our border. I can confirm that we will defend it with all possible means, including military."

Russia said on Wednesday it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of the British destroys HMS Defender, to chase it out of Black Sea waters off the coast of Crimea, claims that the warship's captain, Commander Vincent Owen, rejected. “I have 21 years of experience and this is the finest air defence destroyer. I don’t think I expected to be overtaken by an 8000 ton warship. It was a great feeling to overhaul them,” he said.

Russia's Defence Ministry announced on Friday that it was beginning joint navy and air force exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, where Moscow operates an air base on Syria's coast.

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