|HMS York keeps watch as the Admiral Kuznetsov anchors just outside British waters off the coast at Moray Firth, Scotland.|
Is anyone home at NATO?
"It's a little unnerving to find a vast Russian naval task force so close to Britain."
Your military tax dollars at work. A large Russian fleet appeared off Scotland and no one in NATO appeared to notice it was even at sea. That either means we are totally at peace with the Russians and could care less where their navy goes or NATO is asleep on the job. Pick one.
HMS York was scrambled from Portsmouth to meet the Admiral Kuznetsov and other warships.
The fleet appeared unexpectedly off the east of Scotland on Monday. It was the closest Russian warships had come to UK waters for over 20 years. Yesterday the MoD said the fleet faithful to PM Vladimir Putin did not warn them it was passing so close to Britain reports the UK Daily Mail.
It anchored just outside UK waters — 30 miles off the Moray Firth.
The warships were thought to have been dodging bad weather in the North Sea. Russian news sites said the 65,000-ton Admiral Kuznetsov was on exercises in the Mediterranean.
Previously defence chiefs would have scrambled Nimrod aircraft from RAF Kinloss in Moray but because the base has been scrapped in cutbacks and a new fleet of planes cancelled, the Navy had no choice but to send HMS York.
Although the Russian fleet was outside UK waters it was within the exclusive economic zone which Britain has the sole rights to exploit.
The Admiral Kuznetsov is en route to the Mediterranean from its northern base at Severomorsk for exercises with the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: 'The Admiral Kuznetsov, with other warships and support vessels, is thought to be en route to the Mediterranean on exercise.
'The aircraft carrier anchored outside British territorial waters some 30 miles off the Moray Firth where she was thought to have taken advantage of the relative shelter to avoid the worst of current bad weather in the North Sea.'
A UK naval source said: "Regardless of the explanation, it's a little unnerving to find a vast Russian naval task force so close to Britain."
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