Russia Fired Warning Shots at Turkish Ship in Aegean to Avoid Collision
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The crew of the Russian "Smetlivy" destroyer was forced to use firearms on Sunday to prevent a collision with a Turkish seiner vessel in the northern part of the Aegean Sea, according to Russia's Ministry of Defense.
"On the 13 December 2015 the crew of the Russian patrol ship "Smetlivy" prevented a collision with a Turkish seiner vessel 22 kilometers from the Greek island of Limnos in the northern part of the Aegean Sea," Russia's Defense Ministry statement reads, according to Sputnik News.
The destoyer's morning crew spotted an approaching Turkish ship at a distance of approximately one kilometer. The seiner did not get on the air for radio contact with the Russian ship and did not respond to signal lamps or flairs.
Upon the Turkish seiner's dangerously close approach to "Smetlivy" at a distance of 600 meters, the Russian partol ship fired a shot beyond the hitting range of the fireamrs to avoid collision.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Turkish vessel immediately changed its course and, without contacting the Russian crew, kept moving by the Smetlivy destroyer at a distance of 540 meters.
Following the incident, a military attache at Turkish embassy in Moscow has been urgently summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry by Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov.
The incident comes amid Russian-Turkish tensions following the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by the Turkish Air Force over Syria on November 24.
Ankara claimed that the aircraft had violated its airspace, however, Russian defense officials provided evidence that the aircraft had not crossed into Turkey. The pilot, who survived the crash, also confirmed that the alleged violation did not take place. Moreover, the crew, according to the pilot, did not receive any warning prior to the attack.