Russia Warns It’s Prepared To Fire At Or Bomb NATO Ships Entering Crimean Waters

Russia on Thursday warned that it is prepared to fire at or bomb intruding warships to protect its borders in a move that threatens to further escalate growing tensions between Moscow and the West, hours after claiming it had fired at a British naval ship that sailed near Crimea–which Russia claims as part of its territorial waters.

Russia claimed that one of its warships fired warning shots while one of its combat jets dropped bombs in the path of the British navy destroyer HMS Defender on Wednesday to drive it away from an area near the Crimean port of Sevastapol, the state-run TASS News Agency reported.

Britain has denied this account, saying its ship wasn’t fired upon and adding that the destroyer was “conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.”