Russian President Vladimir Putin today described the military exercises being conducted by Washington and NATO in the Black Sea as a “challenge” during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emanuel Macron, according to the Kremlin.
“During his talks with Macron, Putin” drew attention to the provocative nature of large-scale exercises conducted by the United States and some of its allies in the Black Sea, which are escalating tensions between Russia and NATO, “the Kremlin said in a statement. announcement.
The Russian president appeared to be referring to the involvement of several US warships in exercises in the Black Sea, which Moscow said last week it was “watching” and which Putin had described as a “serious challenge”.
His latest accusation comes amid growing tensions over the conflict in Ukraine, a riparian country on the Black Sea.
The situation in this region is particularly tense after the annexation in 2014 to the Russian Federation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. For more than seven years, Ukraine has been at loggerheads with pro-Russian separatists on the eastern side of its territory.
Tensions have risen in recent days, with the United States and the European Union expressing concern over the recent deployment of Russian forces on the Black Sea coast.
In a conversation with Putin today, Macron expressed “great concern” and “his willingness to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” according to the French presidency.
For his part, Putin accused Kiev of pursuing a “catastrophic policy”, citing the “recent use by Ukraine of unmanned aircraft in the conflict zone,” the Kremlin said.
The use by Ukraine last month of a Turkish unmanned fighter jet against pro-Russian separatists has angered Moscow.
Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the conflict in Ukraine has killed more than 130,000 people.
Source From: Capital