The Royal Navy and its Nato allies has escorted nine Russian Navy ships that were present in waters near the UK.

Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Mersey and HMS Tyne, along with Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster, participated in an operation undertaken by allied ships to monitor nine Russian vessels.

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Three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships, and three missile-armed patrol boats were present in the waters.

Royal Navy ships partnered with Nato allies from Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway, and Denmark to track the Russian vessels through some of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

Last month, the ships departed following the Navy Day in St Petersburg and sailed out into the North Sea to carry out large-scale exercises.

The ships from the Royal Navy were allocated to the high readiness Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), which monitors the waters from the Baltic to the Atlantic in northern Europe.

The UK ships worked with the task group’s flagship Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real and Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto, with support from the navies of Germany, Norway and Denmark.

HMS Mersey commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon said: “We had Nato warships shadowing the Russian task group through some of the busiest traffic lanes in the world.

“This was made possible by the professional and highly trained ships’ companies of all allied units involved, whose shared Nato tactics and training allow for seamless integration and joint working.

“Shadowing missions such as this are increasingly routine for Mersey and her sister ships of the Royal Navy’s Overseas Patrol Squadron.”

Earlier this month, Mersey and Tyne tracked destroyer RFS Vice-Admiral Kulakov when it was on its way into the North Sea and through the English Channel.

In June, Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Kent joined 19 Nato ally nations with around 3,000 personnel to take part on the US-led Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise that started in the Baltic Sea.