The Russian Foreign Ministry said today that plans to increase the presence of NATO in the Black Sea will lead to new provocations by Ukraine.
The note issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, notes that "after the militarization of north-eastern Europe, previously quiet on the military side, NATO decided to increase its military presence in the Black Sea."
"All the components, the air, the land and the naval, are reinforced." The US permanent representative in NATO declares that this is done to "guarantee the passage of Ukrainian ships", which means that it is pushing Kiev to carry out new provocations, "the text says.
In addition, the statement indicates that formally NATO expresses its willingness to dialogue with Russia, however, "no concrete steps are observed" in this regard.
The Ministry noted that the Alliance uses a language of ultimatums and is not really willing to discuss in depth the key problems affecting European security in a conversation "aimed at achieving results."
According to the document, Russia remains open to dialogue in order to reduce tensions, restore confidence, avoid misunderstandings and reduce the risk of dangerous incidents.
US Ambassador to the NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, announced this week that Washington will also ask its allies this week to approve a package of measures to increase the presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea.
The objective, explained the diplomat, is to counteract the influence of Russia in the Black Sea, where last November Moscow forcibly captured three ships and 24 Ukrainian sailors to prevent them from crossing the Strait of Kerch as they were heading towards the Sea of Azov .
The Kremlin said the previous day about Washington's proposal, stating that it values it "negatively" and does not understand its content well.
"We do not understand what it is about, the situation around navigation in the Kerch Strait is well known, as is Russia's position on the matter, which corresponds to law and international law," said the President's spokesman. Russian, Dmitri Peskov.
Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of restricting transit through the Kerch Strait to convert the Azov, an internal sea shared by Russians and Ukrainians, into an area under Russian control, while Moscow says it simply wants to guarantee the safety of the Crimean bridge, which links the peninsula annexed in 2014 with the rest of the Russian territory.
According to the Russian version, on November 25, Ukrainian vessels were stopped in the Russian waters of the Black Sea, while Kiev assures that the capture took place in international waters.