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Russia claims it has 'evidence' that the UK was involved in attack on its warships
3 November 2022, 21:44
Russia's ambassador to the UK has claimed that his government has "evidence" that British forces took part in an attack on its warships.
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Andrei Kelin warned that the UK is "too deep" in the war in Ukraine, launched by an illegal Russian invasion in February this year, adding that "the situation is becoming more and more dangerous".
Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, Mr Kelin said that Russia could release its 'proof' that British special forces helped in a Ukrainian drone strike on Russian ships in the Black Sea off Crimea "pretty soon".
Britain has denied involvement in the attack - although the country has provided significant military aid to Ukraine since the invasion. A government spokesperson said the claims were designed to distract from Russian failures in the war.
Mr Kelin said: "We perfectly know about [the] participation of British specialists in [the] training, preparation and execution of violence against the Russian infrastructure and the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. We know that it has been done."
He added: "It is dangerous because it escalates the situation. It can bring us up to the line of I would say no return, return is always possible. But anyway, we should avoid escalation.
"And this is a warning actually that Britain is too deep in this conflict. It means the situation is becoming more and more dangerous."
A spokesperson for the British government said: "In recent days, Russia has made a range of allegations against the UK, clearly designed to distract attention from Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine; Russia's losses on the battlefield and its bombing of civilian populations and energy infrastructure without any regard for international law and the loss of innocent life.
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"We do not plan to give a running commentary on these allegations; it is no secret that the United Kingdom has taken a public lead in our support to Ukraine - this has been enduring since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014."
It comes after Russia's defence ministry said on Saturday that a unit of the Royal Navy was responsible for the damage the major pipelines delivering gas from Russia to Europe suffered in September, which made them unusable.
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A spokesperson said: "According to available information, representatives of this unit of the British Navy took part in the planning, provision and implementation of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on September 26 this year - blowing up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines."
The British government hit back strongly against the allegations, accusing Russia of "peddling false claims".
"To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale," a ministry of defence spokesperson said.