LONDON — Britain's Ministry of Defense said Tuesday it was monitoring the activities of a Russian destroyer and two other ships in the English Channel.
The ministry said the destroyer Severomorsk, a tanker and a support ship were passing through the waters while returning from the Mediterranean.
Officials said no exercises were seen — some reports had suggested the ships were to carry out military drills — but that the Royal Navy's HMS Argyll was watching.
Also Tuesday, the ministry said Typhoon fighter jets were launched after two Russian military planes were spotted flying close to British airspace.
The developments follow similar incidents in recent months. In November the Royal Navy monitored a squadron of Russian warships as they moved through the Strait of Dover after carrying out exercises in the North Sea.
Royal Air Force jets were scrambled several times this year to escort Russian military plans out of what officials call "U.K. areas of interest."