Russia's Defense Ministry on Sunday said that its Black Sea Fleet is now closely monitoring a British Royal Navy patrol vessel which just entered the Black Sea.
"The forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet have started tracking the activities of the Trent patrol vessel of the British Navy, which entered the Black Sea waters on May 16," a statement from Russia's defense ministry said of its Black Sea Fleet operations.
The HMS Trent passed through the Bosporus Strait on Sunday, after a month ago the UK said its navy was planning to send patrols to the region in response to Ukraine tensions and the prior Russian troop buildup in Crimea and along the border. The Kremlin confirmed it's since withdrawn the additional forces, which numbered in the many tens of thousands.
Regardless it appears to the UK is seeking to send a "message" against another potential near future Russian troop build-ups or large scale drills in the region.
📸 🇬🇧 Royal Navy River-class Batch 2 offshore patrol vessel HMS TRENT P224 transited Istanbul strait this morning towards the Black Sea. pic.twitter.com/D6bSf3LPLO— Cavit Ege Tulça (@egetulca) May 16, 2021
Further according to TASS the Russian fleet is monitoring a French military vessel as well, since it entered the waters about five days ago.
"On May 11, the report said the Black Sea Fleet started keeping a close eye on the French Navy’s patrol ship Commandant Birot, which had entered the Black Sea," the report said.