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Russian warships 'ward off a Dutch submarine'

Russian warships 'ward off a Dutch submarine'
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Russian warships in the Mediterranean have been forced to drive away a Dutch submarine, according to a Russian military spokesperson.

Destroyers, who were travelling in convoy with the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier on the way to Syria, detected the Walrus-class submarine which was apparently shadowing the Russians.

Two ships then tracked the Dutch craft using anti-Submarine helicopters for more than an hour, before forcing it to leave.

Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov described the attempt to follow the Russian craft as “clumsy”, but did not elaborate on how exactly the Russian Destroyers persuaded the Dutch vessel to leave the area.

However Konashenkov did say that two NATO submarines had previously been spotted, also apparently tailing the Russian convoy. He said that at least one of these vessels was a US Virginia-class nuclear submarine.

A NATO official confirmed that its navies had indeed been “monitoring” the Russian fleet, in a “measured and responsible way, as is customary”.

The Dutch navy declined to comment, saying in a tweet that they do not comment on submarine operations.

This is not the first time the Kuznetsov fleet has garnered military and media attention. Last month confusion reigned over an apparent request for the military vessels to refuel in a Spanish port. The Russian military denied the request was ever made

The Admiral Kuznetsov has been said to have so many technical issues, it is forced to travel with a tug.

Nevertheless, it is still a symbol of Russian military might, which is perhaps why it has been the focus of other navies attention.