Russian Destroyer Fires Warning Shots At Turkish Trawler In Aegean Sea

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Russian Warship fires at Turkish vessel

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that one of their destroyers was forced to open warning fire at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea in order to avoid collision.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has urgently summoned the Turkish military attache in Moscow over the incident.

The Telegraph reports:

The defence ministry said in a statement that the Turkish fishing vessel had failed to respond to earlier warnings on Sunday morning, but changed course after shots were fired from the destroyer Smitlivy. The ships were some 500 yards apart at the time.

“Despite numerous attempts by the crew of the Smetlivy, the crew of the Turkish fishing boat did not make radio contact and did not respond to visual signals by semaphore or warning flares,” the ministry said, adding that small arms had been used to fire the warning shots “from a range that is not lethal”.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, said Ankara was investigating the matter and would make a statement once it had more information.

The Turkish fishing boat was on collision course, says RT:

The incident happened in the northern part of the Aegean Sea some 12 nautical miles from the Greek island of Lemnos, the ministry said.

The crew of the Kashin-class guided missile destroyer Smetlivy spotted the Turkish fishing trawler some 1,000 meters from the Russian warship early on Sunday morning, the ministry said. The ship was sailing towards the destroyer and ignored calls for radio contact and other attempts to communicate.

When the Turkish vessel approached to about 600 meters, the Smetlivy opened small arms fire at a spot in front of the trawler, taking care to avoid any risk of hitting the Turkish ship itself, the report said.

The ministry said the Turkish fishing ship changed course after that and kept about 540 meters from the Smetlivy, but didn’t contact the Russian warship.

“Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has summoned the military attaché of the Turkish embassy in Russia in connection with the incident in the Aegean Sea,” the statement said.