Russia says the US is ‘playing with fire’ in the Black Sea

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said that the US was “playing with fire” when sending many warships to exercise in the Black Sea, increasing the risk of conflict.

“What are the American warships doing in the Black Sea, thousands of kilometers from their bases? Any explanation that this is a freedom of navigation operation makes no sense. They are playing with fire and this is just another attempt. to test our resolve,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters today.

The flagship USS Mount Whitney exercises on the Black Sea in 2018. Photo: US Navy.

The flagship USS Mount Whitney exercises on the Black Sea in 2018. Photo: US Navy.

The remarks came as Washington sent the command ship USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Navy’s 6th Fleet, and the destroyer USS Porter to the Black Sea. Ryabkov warned that the activities of US warships and other members of NATO in the region could increase the risk of collision with the Russian navy.

The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy announced on November 8 that the missile corvette Admiral Essen participated in a drill to protect the naval base from a missile attack from a simulated enemy aircraft. This is considered a “devastating” move by Russia, in the context of two US warships present in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian defense forces always monitor the movements of the US warship in the Black Sea with “binoculars or sights of the weapon system”.

Black Sea Area.  Graphics: Washington Post.

Black Sea Area. Graphics: Washington Post.

The US periodically sends warships to the Black Sea to show support for Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Moscow has repeatedly protested against Washington’s increased military presence in the region, arguing that this action has could lead to a new arms race.

Vu Anh (Follow Sputnik)

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