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Russian warships expected to pass through English Channel amid Syria tensions

Russian warships are expected to sail through the English Channel next week at a time of heightened tensions between Britain and Moscow over the war in Syria.

The Navy said it and Nato "routinely" monitor other nations' fleets when they enter UK waters, but the voyage comes amid Western anger at Russia's alleged complicity in bombing civilians.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has infuriated Moscow with his accusations that Russian forces are attacking Aleppo in support of the regime of president Bashar Assad, and his subsequent calls to protest outside the Russian embassy.

The row has fuelled concerns that Russia will use the naval journey as a show of military strength, with reports suggesting fighter jets may launch drills from the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: "UK and Nato assets routinely monitor warships from other nations when they enter our area of interest and this will be no different."

The warships are making the voyage in order to join Russia's military action in Syria, according to the Telegraph.

Mr Johnson is on Sunday hosting US Secretary of State John Kerry and ministers from France and Germany to consider a new way forward to end the conflict .

The Foreign Secretary told the Commons Foreign Affairs committee on Thursday the time had come to look at "more kinetic options" - including military options.

The Foreign Office insisted that his comments were not intended as a first step towards military intervention in the bloody civil war.

But giving evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Johnson said the US-Russia dialogue aimed at brokering a ceasefire appeared to have "run out of road" and there was a need to find an alternative way forward.


From Belfast Telegraph