Vladimir Putin describes US exercises in the Black Sea as a “challenge”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin described today as a “challenge” military exercises conducted by Washington and NATO in the Black Sea, during a telephone conversation with French counterpart Emanuel Macron, according to the Kremlin.

During his conversation with Macron, the Putin «Draws attention to the provocative nature of large-scale exercises conducted by the United States and some of its allies in the Black Sea, which escalate tensions between Russia and NATOThe Kremlin said in a statement, according to the Athens News Agency.

The Russian president seemed to be referring to the involvement of several US warships in exercises in the Black Sea, which Moscow had stated last week that it was “watching” and which Putin had described as “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 border. Black Sea.

Macron expressed his concern

In this conversation with Putin today, the Macron expressed his “great concern” and “his desire to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, according to the French presidency.

For his part, Putin accused Kiev of exercising “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.

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