Increased NATO activity in the Black Sea undermines regional stability and Moscow will act “accordingly”, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister told journalists on Saturday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Council on Foreign and Defense Policy meeting, Alexander Grushko said that Russia treats increased NATO activity “unambiguously negatively”,
“We, of course, will take all the necessary measures to neutralize threats connected to increased NATO activity in this region”, he said. “We watch very carefully at how the Alliance’s plans to increase its presence in the region unfold and we will react accordingly”.
He pointed out that the Russian Foreign Ministry believes that security in the Black Sea should be based on the cooperation of coastal countries.
“All required ingredients for this are present. It’s Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and — in the military sphere — Document on trust-building measures in the Black Sea”, Grushko added.
The deputy minister expressed hope that the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group, also known as BLACKSEAFOR, will resume operations. The naval cooperation program includes six coastal nations: Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. The group’s activities effectively ended following the 2014 Ukraine crisis and Russia suspended its participation after Turkish forces shot down a Russian military airplane in 2015.