Russian Warship Fires Warning Shots at Turkish Vessel in Aegean Sea to Avert Collision
A Russian patrol ship has fired warning shots at a Turkish fishing vessel to avert a collision in the northern Aegean Sea, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said on Sunday.
The watchkeeping team of Russian military ship Smetlivyi, which was anchored 22 km off the Greek island of Lemnos, spotted the Turkish seiner about 1,000 meters away approaching from the starboard side on Sunday morning.
Despite numerous attempts to alert the Turkish ship to the risk of collision, its crew didn’t establish radio contact with the Russian vessel and didn’t respond to visual signals and flares, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
When the seiner had approached to about 600 meters, warning shots were fired to avert a collision.
“Immediately after that, the Turkish vessel abruptly changed course and without getting in touch with the Russian crew passed within 540 meters of the patrol ship,” according to the statement.
The Turkish military attach? in Moscow has been summoned to the Defence Ministry over the incident.
Relations between Moscow and Ankara have strained since Turkish Air Force fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane in the border area between Turkey and Syria. While Turkey says that the Russian bomber violated Turkish airspace and ignored warnings to change course, Russia claims that there was no violation of airspace and no warnings were issued.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that Turkey would get the Turkish fishing ship's side of the story before making an announcement on the issue.
"We don't want tensions. We want to overcome tensions through dialogue," Cavusoglu told Turkish reporters on the sidelines of a meeting on Libya in Rome, according to AP.
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