As tensions in the Pontic–Caspian zone continue to escalate, Russia has labeled US naval ships sailing through the black sea as “a destabilizing factor”.
On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that they were monitoring US warships in the region while giving warning that the country was fully prepared to combat any kind of threat.
“The Russian military is continuously tracking the actions of the US guided-missile destroyer Porter, the US naval tanker John Lenthall, and the US command and control ship Mount Whitney in the Black Sea”, the ministry was quoted as saying by ANI.
In recent weeks, the Pentagon has enhanced its activities in the Black sea as well as near Russia’s western border.
On 6 November, two US Air Force bombers flew over the inland sea leaving just 100 kilometers in distance from the Russian borders. Interestingly, American Defense Chief General Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine late in October wherein he blatantly opined that Russia was an obstruction to regional peace. He had also called upon Moscow to end its destabilizing activity in the Black sea and its vicinity.
US Navy’s sixth fleet ‘Europe-Africa’ which operates in the Black sea region defended the presence of Mount Whitney in the Black Sea, stating that it was pivotal to protect the peace and security in the region.
“After departing Istanbul ‘on November 5’, Mount Whitney proceeded north toward the Black Sea to operate alongside NATO allies and partners in the region, working together to ensure security and stability,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised the need to strengthen the country’s air defences amid a spike in US-led NATO’s military activities near its border.
“Even now, a US warship has entered the Black Sea, and we can see it in binoculars or crosshairs of our defense systems,” Putin was quoted as saying by ABC News.
Apparently, his comments came in reference to USS Porters, which sailed through the Black Sea over the weekend. This comes as Washington-Moscow ties hit rock bottom with the US threatening to shut down its embassy in Moscow.
Nwachineke Onyeke Chekwube reporting, Obinwannem news writer/November 10, 2021