The entry of a British warship into what Moscow considers Russian territorial waters near Crimea last month is the kind of challenge that requires a tough response, the Kremlin said on Sunday.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia, which fired warning shots and dropped bombs on the warship to chase it out of the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea, could sink the warship.
For all the latest news, follow the Daily News Google News channel.
Moscow has challenged the HMS defender’s right to cross the waters near Crimea, something London has said it had every right to do. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, but most of the world still recognizes it as part of Ukraine.
Speaking on state television on Sunday, Peskov said the incident was “a well-planned challenge” and that Putin’s reaction made it clear that any repetition would provoke a response.
“Obviously the reaction will be naturally harsh,” Peshkov said.
He reiterated Putin’s accusation that Washington and London had planned the incident together.
“I think of course our intelligence knows who made that decision. But, of course, I believe that the substance of these operations is being planned by all the same senior comrades – those above the ocean,” Peshkov said.
Tensions are rising as Ukraine and NATO countries conduct military exercises in the Black Sea, monitored by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
Peshkov said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a destabilizing element that led to controversy, but that Russia remained open to dialogue with the body.