The discovery in the street of secret documents linked to the government of the United Kingdom prompted Russian diplomacy to suggest a voluntary leak to justify the intrusion of a British ship on June 23 in Russian territorial waters.
Russian diplomacy joked on June 27 on the discovery of secret documents from the British Ministry of Defense concerning Russia’s attitude in the Black Sea, revealed the same day by the BBC. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mocked the British government on her Telegram channel, writing that “007 agents are not what they used to be”, referring to the character of the famous British spy James Bond.
Around 50 pages of secret UK Ministry of Defense documents containing details of Russia’s potential reaction to a British warship passing through the Black Sea have been found behind a bus stop in the south of the England, by a civilian who wishes to remain anonymous, the BBC reported.
This leak of documents sheds new light on the British intrusion on June 23 into Russian territorial waters, which gave rise to warning shots to force the British destroyer HMS Defender to leave the area. According to the BBC, this mission is described in the documents as an “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters” in order to test the reactions that Moscow might have.
The UK Ministry of Defense said it was informed last week of “an incident in which sensitive defense documents were recovered by a member of the public”. “The department takes information security very seriously and an investigation has been launched. The affected employee reported the loss at the time. It would be inappropriate to comment further, ”a spokesperson said.
But for Maria Zakharova, the affair was not an unfortunate coincidence: “London used a number of lies to cover up its latest provocation. […] And now a riddle-like question for the UK parliament: why do we need ‘Russian hackers’ when there are UK bus stops? ”She quipped, suggesting a willful leak of the documents. .
UK reportedly hoped for an aggressive reaction from Russia
Also according to the BBC, other documents found near this bus stop also mentioned plans for a possible British military presence in Afghanistan after the end of the NATO operation led by the United States.
The Labor Party, which leads the British opposition, said that the discovery of the documents by an anonymous was “as embarrassing as it is worrying for ministers”. John Healey, in charge of defense for Labor, said ministers were to confirm that national security had not been compromised nor that security operations had been affected and that “procedures are in place to ensure may nothing like this happen again ”.
For its part, Russia has summoned the British ambassador to Moscow for a formal diplomatic reprimand on the action in the Black Sea, described as a provocation. According to the BBC, the documents found suggested that the British ship’s mission had been carried out in the hope that Russia would react aggressively.