Recent revelations by the British Ministry of Defense tell a worrying story for Scotland. The reports indicate a Russian naval vessel approached the cost of Scotland, though it stayed within international waters, and stayed there until Britain scrambled a vessel of its own to counter the presence of the Russian warship.
Thanks to cuts in the navy budget, there was only one destroyer available and it took 60 hours for the Portsmouth destroyer to travel to the Scottish coast. Airforce reconnaissance planes spotted the Russian warship as it approached Scotland and reported its presence. A series of meetings followed involving naval senior personnel and then the Portsmouth was deployed to investigate the intentions of the Russian warship. Aerial photographs showed that the Russian warship was heavily laden with guided missiles.
The British navy says that the Russians were behaving aggressively and the passage of the Russian warship had to be blocked. The Russians on the other hand defended the presence of their warship in Moray Firth. They claimed that the warship was taking part in exercises in an area further away from the coast of Britain and it had to seek shelter in the Moray Firth due to adverse weather conditions. There were legitimate naval exercises by Russia in the ocean.
Britain sees the incident as an attempt at intimidation by the Russians. This is the third or fourth incident in a series of happenings that are being viewed as a show of might in Europe by the expanding Russian military. Earlier in the year, Russian military jets overflew the airspace of Sweden and only turned back after Swedish fighter jets were scrambled. Another angle taken to the incident is that Russia was inspecting nuclear installations in Scotland as the Scots get closer to a referendum that could see Scotland break away from the British kingdom. They could be testing the defenses of Scotland before it secedes from Britain.