MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian navy vessels entered the English Channel on Tuesday on their way to the northern Atlantic for anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense drills, the Northern Fleet said.
The squadron, led by the Severomorsk anti-submarine ship, had carried out drills in the Bay of Biscay and will later head for the northeastern Atlantic, a spokesman for the Northern Fleet said in a statement.
Russia's Interfax news agency had reported that the squadron would hold drills in the English Channel but the fleet's statement did not confirm this.
It is not unusual to have Russian warships in the Channel. NATO dismissed in November a Russian media report that a squadron of Russian warships had conducted military exercises there.
Relations between Russia and the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.
Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Elizabeth Piper