Warships belonging to the Russian Northern Fleet have sailed through the English Channel in a routine and lawful passage through British waters.
A statement from the Russian Northern Fleet said:
“Today, a detachment of ships and support vessels, headed by the large anti-submarine ship Vice-Admiral Kulakov of the Northern Fleet, passed the Pas-de-Calais and continues to move southward in the English Channel.”
Passing through the English Channel right now are two udaloys severmorsk and vice admiral kulakov
They are in company with tug atalay oiler akademic pashin and mine hunter Vladimir Yemelyanov pic.twitter.com/i9Sdh07X1b
— The_Sub_Hunter (@TheSubHunter1) August 13, 2021
Destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov was joined by corvette Gremyachchiy and minesweeper Vladimir Emelyanov.
The vessel is allowed to pass through British waters. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) enshrines the concept of innocent passage through a coastal state’s territorial sea. Innocent passage is a concept in the law of the sea that allows for a vessel to pass through the archipelagic and territorial waters of another state, subject to certain restrictions.
Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal state.
What is the Russian Northern Fleet?
The Northern Fleet is tasked with responsibility for operations and defense in the Arctic seas along Northern Russia, including the Barents Sea and Kara Sea, as well as the northwestern maritime approaches to Russia including the Norwegian Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The Northern Fleet’s headquarters and main base are located in Severomorsk, Murmansk Oblast, with secondary bases elsewhere in the greater Kola Bay area.