Dutch frigate Evertsen "harassed" by Russian jets in Black Sea

Netherlands' defence minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten said on Tuesday that Russian fighter jets armed with air-to-surface missiles had harassed a Dutch navy frigate in the Black Sea earlier this month, conducting mock attacks and jamming communication systems, Reuters reports.

The Russian defence ministry said it had scrambled fighter jets and bombers to prevent the frigate from entering Russian waters, according to news agencies.

The Russian military said the warplanes flew at a safe distance from the vessel and in line with international regulations.

The Netherlands' defence ministry said the Russian actions took place over the span of five hours on June 24th and violated rights to free use of the sea.

The frigate, Evertsen, was sailing with Britain's Carrier Strike Group, which was carrying out a patrol in the area at the time.

The "Evertsen has every right to sail there," the minister said in a statement. "There is no justification for this kind of aggressive act, which needlessly increases the chance of accidents."

She indicated the Netherlands would raise the matter with Russia at the diplomatic level.

Image: By heb@Wikimedia Commons (mail) - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

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