British navy escorts Russian warship near UK waters
An infrared camera image from a helicopter shows British Royal Navy frigate HMS St Albans escorting Russian warship Admiral Gorshkov as it passes close to United Kingdom territorial waters on Monday.Royal Navy via Reuters
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LONDON — Britain's Royal Navy has escorted one of Russia's warships through the North Sea near U.K. waters, officials said Tuesday, amid increasing tensions between the two countries.
The HMS St. Albans with 190 sailors on board was used to escort the Russian Admiral Gorshkov frigate on Monday through what British officials called "areas of national interest" on Christmas Day.
In addition, a Royal Navy helicopter was used to track other Russian vessels in the area.
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The navy said there has been a recent surge in Russian vessels traveling near U.K. waters. Officials said that on Christmas Eve, a navy vessel was used to escort a Russian intelligence-gathering ship through the North Sea and English Channel.
Defense Secretary Gavin William said Britain wouldn't tolerate aggression.
"Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people and our national interests," he said Tuesday.
There has also been an increase in recent years of Russian fighter planes testing NATO and British air defenses, leading to jets being scrambled to keep Russian fighters away.