Russia believes that the causes of the spiral of tension in the Black Sea and around Ukraine are the United States and NATO. It was said yesterday by the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, during a meeting of the military leadership. In his view, the West “is carrying out provocative actions in the airspace and in the waters of the Black Sea. ‘
However, Washington considers the opposite and affirms that the cause of the current confrontational situation It is Russia. This is the opinion of the US State Department, whose spokesman, Ned Price, urged Moscow through a statement to unblock the Black Sea and withdraw its forces from the area.
The Kremlin does not hide its plans to close sea and air traffic in certain areas of the Black Sea, including the Sea of Azov, for six months, from April 24 to October 31. Such a bolt would block the access of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait, as has happened before. And it is planned to prolong the ongoing Russian naval maneuvers for half a year.
“The situation in the strategic southwestern direction continues to be complicated due to attempts by several countries to increase their military presence near the Russian borders,” Shoigu said Tuesday. As he explained to generals and senior commanders of the Armed Forces, “behind it are the Ukrainian leaders who seek destabilize the situationespecially in Donbass’, the separatist territory that encompasses the ‘people’s republics’ of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The Russian Defense Minister said that on April 13, “NATO and the US Army sent troops to the borders of the European part of Russia.” He added that the Alliance «plans to deploy 40,000 soldiers“At the gates of Russia, which is why” our Army is strengthening its combat capabilities in the Southern Military District. “
The Interfax agency reported this Tuesday that for now there has been no order to blockade the Black Sea for six months but only for four days. This is a “temporary restriction” on flights over parts of Crimea and the Black Sea. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov noted that such measures are normal when maneuvers are being carried out that may endanger air navigation. Moscow insists that it does not intend to take any aggressive action against Ukraine. However, the American newspaper ‘The Wall Street Journal’ has published satellite images showing a huge concentration of Russian troops in Crimea. The newspaper cites military experts who believe that Russia is preparing a major offensive.
Call to calm
All this, according to the State Department spokesman, “represents an unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine.” According to Price, “these events are particularly worrying amidst reliable reports of accumulation of Russian troops in occupied Crimea and around the borders of Ukraine, now at levels not seen since the invasion of Russia in 2014.
Tens of thousands of soldiers, according to NATO reports, have been deployed along Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders, as well as in Crimea. More than 20 Russian warships participate in the maneuvers in the Black Sea, together with the aviation of the Southern Military District, Interfax reported.
The United Kingdom announced last week, according to ‘The Sunday Times’, that it will send two warships of the Royal Navy to the Black Sea before the rebound in tensions. According to the British Defense Ministry, it is about showing London’s “unwavering” support for Ukraine.
Peskov called on the West on Tuesday to calm down, to renounce the “Anti-Russian psychosis” and to opt for “a constructive dialogue that makes it possible to overcome existing discrepancies. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov believes that the West “has decided to launch a frontal attack” against Russia.
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