A senior naval commander is playing down an account from one of his sailors of a seemingly tense standoff between a Canadian warship and Russian vessels during a recent deployment.
The encounter in question occurred while HMCS Charlottetown was deployed on a six-month operation between August and January that included monitoring Russian military activity in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.
Canada has provided a steady stream of warships to participate in NATO patrols in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
While those patrols are designed to reassure NATO’s easternmost members and act as a check on any Russian aggression in the region, there have been reports of uncomfortably close encounters between the two sides.
But the Canadian military has largely avoided any reports of such run-ins with the Russians — at least until Leading Seaman Cory Johnson provided an account of one such encounter in …