HMS Westminster Escorts Russian warships Through English Channel

Royal Navy frigate HMS Westminster is today escorting a Russian military task group through the English Channel and areas of UK interest.

The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate was activated on Friday (5 Jan 18) to sail and keep watch on two Russian warships and two supporting vessels as they passed close to UK territorial waters in stormy conditions.

HMS Westminster remained at sea over the weekend to meet up with the Russian vessels, keeping track of their activities in areas of Britain’s national interest. During this time, sources told SeaWaves Westminster complained to HM Coast Guard about low flying media aircraft creating safety concerns.

The Royal Navy warship will remain with the two Steregushchiy-class frigates Soobrazitelny and Boiky and support vessels Paradoks and Kola as they head north before returning to Portsmouth January 10th.

Commander Simon Kelly, the Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, said: “HMS Westminster’s role as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort is to be at very high readiness to respond to anything the British government requires.

“While today most people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year, HMS Westminster’s ship’s company has been at sea and at readiness as part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to keep Britain safe at all times.

“The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK, and it is very important HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link.”