A Royal Navy ship, the HMS Argyll, intercepted a Russian frigate travelling with a tanker in the English Channel on Wednesday.
The Neustrashimy class frigate Yaroslav Mudryy — “Yaroslav the Wise” — is part of Russia’s Baltic fleet and is equipped with anti-ship missiles, the Kashtan anti-aircraft system and torpedoes. The HMS Argyll was dispatched to intercept the ships as part of a “NATO agreement whereby alliance nations co-operate to monitor activity”, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The Russian ships are on the last leg of a Mediterranean deployment and are now heading to their permanent base in the Baltic. They are the second set of Russian ships to have traversed the Channel in the past few months after a squadron of the country’s Northern Fleet passed through in November.
Russia has stepped up its military drills in recent months with a greater number of naval drills and NATO reports of incursions by Russian fighter jets and bombers. It comes as the country’s economy continues to suffer under international sanctions imposed by the West over allegations that Russia has been providing troops and military equipment to pro-Moscow rebels in the east of Ukraine.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.