The Black Sea is becoming a zone of dangerous military confrontation due to NATO exercises, the director of the fourth European department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yuri Pilipson, said in the interview with RIA Novosti. According to him, the alliance’s manoeuvres in the region provoke conflicts.
“It is quite obvious that this kind of “training” provokes, and does not prevent, conflict situations,” Pilipson stated.
He added that Russia will ensure its national security and neutralize threats by diplomatic and other means. Pilipson recalled that Moscow had warned the alliance countries that the increase in military and political tensions along the Russian borders would lead to confrontation.
It is noted that the Sea Breeze military exercise took place in the Black Sea from June 28 to July 10 and was attended by Ukraine, the USA, Canada, and Great Britain, as well as the Netherlands, Romania, and other countries, RBC reports. The Russian embassy in Washington has previously described the Sea Breeze exercise as aggressive and called on the United States and its allies to stop practising military action in the Black Sea.
At the same time, there were two incidents with NATO ships. On June 23, the British destroyer Defender violated the Russian border, so the Russian border guards opened fire on the ship’s course. Then, on June 29, the Dutch frigate Evertsen sailed close to Russia’s territorial waters. After the first incident already, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, warned that if such provocations are repeated, the military will be ready “to bomb not just on the course, but on the target”. In turn, the British Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab, said that the Defender did not violate the borders of Russia, but followed in the territorial waters of Ukraine “in accordance with international law”.