MOSCOW – The Russian defense ministry says its warships have entered the English Channel to wait out a storm following a week of maneuvers in the North Sea.
The ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that a naval destroyer, a landing craft, a rescue tugboat and a tank ship had to anchor in the international waters of the Bay of the Seine, off France, on Friday. The ministry said the ships have been conducting naval exercises in the North Sea since Nov. 20.
Russia has conducted a variety of exercises following the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea and its involvement in eastern Ukraine. A recent think tank report recorded a sharp rise in Russian-NATO military encounters since the annexation, including violations of national airspace and close encounters at sea.