AMSTERDAM, June 29 (Reuters) – The Netherlands’ defense minister said on Tuesday that Russian fighter jets armed with airtosurface missiles had harassed a Dutch navy frigate in the Black Sea earlier this month, conducting mock attacks and jamming communication systems.
The Russian actions took place over the span of five hours on June 24 and violated rights to free use of the sea, the ministry said.
The frigate, Evertsen, was sailing with Britain’s Carrier Strike Group, which was carrying out a patrol in the area at the time.
Defense Minister Ank BijleveldSchouten called the Russian action “irresponsible.”
The “Evertsen has every right to sail there,” she 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. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Catherine Evans and Gareth Jones)
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