Turkish media outlets have reported that a Russian warship fired at a Turkish fishing boat because the boat interrupted the ship attempting to hijack Ukrainian oil platforms.
The Daily Sabah claims the fishing vessel stopped the Russian navy from seizing Chernomorneftegaz oil platforms and moving them into Russian territory:
Ukraine declared that it will apply to international arbitration for Chernomorneftegaz’s assets to be confiscated. As drilling platforms were operating in international waters off Ukrainian city of Odessa, they could have been easily seized.
Therefore Russia towed the platforms to its territorial waters to avoid such a seizure by Ukraine, and the Turkish merchant ship was passing by this dubious operation.
The Crimean parliament seized Chernomorneftegaz after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine. The company had ties with Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Nastogaz. The U.S., EU, and NATO do not recognize the move. The U.S. Department of Treasury placed Chernomorneftegaz on a sanctions to list to make it impossible for Russia’s prized Gazprom to do any business with the oil company.
When moving rig B-312, an unidentified object with the Turkish flag appeared. The Turkish ship violated the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea by not giving way to the caravan by sailing across the caravan’s course and attempted to stop it, deliberately causing an emergency situation. The Turkish captains did not answer any radio calls.
The fishermen told Turkish media they did not know the vessel shot at their boat.
Kommersant writes that Crimea’s Border Service denied all the information about the vessel. They deny any ship attempted to stop or interfere with the Russian vessels to move the rigs.
“After radio contact the Turkish vessel on the recommendation of the Black Sea Fleet ship and for the purpose of ensuring security of navigation changed its course and safely passed the convoy. The distance between the vessels exceeded 2 marine miles. The Turkish vessel did not attempt to stop or somehow head off from rig mobilization,” a source told TASS.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) sent an Amest escort ship to protect the vessels in the Black Sea “from Ukrainian warships.” A ship for Ukraine’s State Border Service allegedly approached a rig that belongs to Chernomorneftegaz and asked “questions about the crew and the purpose of the Russian drilling rig’s presence in that area.”