An investigation claims that a Russian “spy ship” stopped at wind farms near the Scottish coast to gather intelligence.
According to a report from broadcasters in Denmark. Sweden, Norway, and Finland, the Admiral Vladimirsky took part in an operation to map underwater infrastructure in North Sea.
The vessel is classified as an oceanographic research vessel. However, the investigation claims that it is a part of a fleet which is examining energy sites to detect potential sabotage.
Danish broadcaster DR has released a video of a sea encounter between their team, the Russian vessel and the Danish coast. The footage was filmed in November.
The video shows a man wearing a balaclava, a military uniform and an assault rifle on the decks of the Admiral Vladimirsky.
It is believed that the ship entered the Moray Firth around 10 November of last year.
Niels Fastrup from Danish broadcaster DR told STV that the investigation was ongoing. He said: “It appears to have loitered for a few weeks in the Moray Firth region.”
According to the source that we spoke to and who we showed our data to, they think it’s an investigation into some offshore wind farms located in Scottish waters.
The next time the ship stopped, it was at Seagreen Wind Farm outside of Aberdeen.
According to the experts and intelligence sources that we have been speaking to, this stop was also made to investigate the Seagreen Wind Farm in order to find possible vulnerabilities to exploit if the conflict between Russia and Western countries escalates.
North Sea Infrastructure Concerns
In the aftermath of the attack on Nord Stream, there have been increasing concerns over the safety of North Sea Infrastructure.
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, discussed the importance to protect undersea cables of internet when European defense ministers met in Edinburgh for a Joint Expeditionary Force Summit last year.
He said that Norway’s oil-and-gas infrastructure was “particularly vulnerable” as it became Europe’s primary supplier.
Royal Navy purchases dedicated subsea monitoring ships
The Royal Navy will be buying two subsea patrol ships this year.
A spokesperson for the MoD said: “Our top priority will always be to maintain our national security.”
We increased Royal Navy patrols following the Nord Stream accident and invested PS65m into the first of two Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance Ships.
We continue to assess all of our investments and operations against the full spectrum of risks and threats.”
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, said that European countries “again preferred to blame Russia for everything” when asked to comment on allegations that Russia is preparing to sabotage its energy infrastructure.