We now continue with our original tasking having seen the Russian ships safely through the UK's area of interest

Commander Timothy Berry, Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset

"Monitoring transits of non-NATO warships through UK territorial waters is part of what the Royal Navy does all year round to keep Britain safe.

"We now continue with our original tasking having seen the Russian ships safely through the UK's area of interest."

The Vice Admiral Kulakov is a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer. It is thought she was returning from a deployment in the Mediterranean. The warship was accompanied by a tanker, which is standard procedure for Russian ships.

It was not the Kulakov's first visit to UK waters as the destroyer was also shadowed by HMS Somerset from the same position in the Moray Firth in March 2016.

Russian warships of the northern and Baltic fleets routinely pass through UK territorial waters en route to or from deployments in the Mediterranean and Gulf regions.

HMNB Devonport

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