warship guarding the Black Sea pipelines attacked by Ukrainian unmanned craft
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MOSCOW, May 24 (Reuters) – The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the Russian warship Ivan Hurs was unsuccessfully attacked by three unmanned Ukrainian speedboats in the Black Sea as it approached the Bosphorus Strait.
In a statement posted on Telegram, the ministry said the warship was protecting the TurkStream and Blue Stream gas pipelines – which transport gas from Russia to Turkey, partly across the Black Sea – and “continues to fulfill its tasks. “.
No comment was immediately available from Kyiv.
The ministry cited the attack as justification for Russia to expand defensive measures. Explosions last September damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines carrying gas from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The Russian statement appeared likely to escalate tensions in the Black Sea, where Russia only agreed last week, a day before a deadline, to extend a deal allowing Ukraine to safely export grain from its seaports.
TurkStream transports gas from Russia’s Taman Peninsula in the west across the width of the Black Sea to a point west of the Bosphorus.
Blue Stream, however, crosses the eastern Black Sea from north to south, reaching more than 700 km east of the Bosphorus.
“All enemy boats were destroyed by fire from the standard armament of a Russian ship 140 km northeast of the Bosphorus,” the statement added.
The Ivan Hurs is a medium reconnaissance ship launched in 2013.
(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Conor Humphries)