Britain's Ministry of Defense says it is monitoring the activities of a Russian destroyer and two other ships in the English Channel.

The ministry says the destroyer Severomorsk, a tanker and a support ship are passing through the waters while returning from the Mediterranean.

Officials said "no exercises were seen" — some reports had suggested the ships were to carry out military drills — but that the Royal Navy's HMS Argyll is monitoring the ships Tuesday.

The developments follow similar incidents in recent months. In November the Royal Navy monitored a squadron of Russian warships as they moved through the Strait of Dover after carrying out exercises in the North Sea.