Putin criticizes NATO plans to expand Black Sea presence


February 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

On February 16th, NATO member-countries’ defense ministers adopted a decision on strengthening the alliance’s military naval presence in the Black Sea. This reinforcing is to involve the intensification of intelligence gathering on the situation in the region, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced.

“Today we agreed on two measures for an increased NATO naval presence in the Black Sea for enhanced training, exercises and situational awareness, and the functioning of our permanent naval group’s coordination at sea while interacting with other allied naval forces in the Black Sea region,” Stoltenberg is quoted by RIA Novosti as telling reporters

NATO’s Secretary General believes that dialogue with Russia must be held from a position of strength and that methods of deterrence must be applied in the likes of what Western countries did during the Cold War.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that NATO considers Russia its main threat, and that this standpoint explains the expansion of NATO’s military presence. 

“At the NATO summit in July last year in Warsaw, for the first time since 1989 Russia was recognized as the main security threat to the alliance, and deterring Russia was officially declared to be NATO’s new mission. The bloc’s further expansion is being carried out with this goal. This was done before, but now they have found what they think to be more serious justification,” Putin has said.

Putin also mentioned that NATO member-countries are constantly provoking Russia and drawing her into confrontation by interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

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In December, Russia’s permanent representative to NATO, Alexander Grushko, stated that the expansion of NATO’s military presence in the Black Sea will increase tensions and undermine security in the region. 

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