The incident with the British destroyer HMS Defender approaching the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea is a planned provocation of London and Washington, but even if the Russian armed forces destroyed the ship, the world would not be on the verge of World War III, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during the annual TV program "Direct Line with Putin".
According to him, the destroyer approaching the shores of Crimea has political and military components. It took place a few days after the summit with Joe Biden in Geneva.
In addition, "they tried with the help of a reconnaissance plane to dissect the actions of our armed forces during such provocations, to see what is working, how it works, where it is located," Putin said.
The actions of the Russian border guards, who opened warning fire near the destroyer, according to Putin, did not pose a threat of unleashing a third world war.
"Even if we had sunk this ship, it would be difficult to imagine that the world would have come to the brink of World War III, because those, who do, know that they cannot emerge victorious from this war," Putin said.
The See Breeze exercises, during which a British destroyer was in the Black Sea, according to Putin, show the "military development of Ukraine by NATO countries”.
The West "raised a lot of noise" because of the exercises that Russia was conducting on its territory near the Ukrainian borders, so the command was given "to finish it quietly," Putin said.
"But instead of responding positively and saying, "OK, we understood your reaction to our indignation," instead, what did they do? They have come to our borders," Putin said indignantly.