Permanent representative to NATO Alexander Grushko
Russia will do everything to ensure that Black sea turned into a “NATO lake”, said the permanent representative of Russia to NATO Alexander Grushko. “Today, NATO is trying to shift the confrontational scheme on the Black sea. Recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that it is unacceptable to make the Black sea into “a Russian lake”. But NATO is well aware that the Black sea never turn into a “NATO lake”, and we will take all necessary measures in order to neutralize possible threats and attempts at putting pressure on Russia from a southern direction”, — he said in an interview to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”.
The Russian black sea fleet takes part in stabilizing the situation in the Mediterranean and to the South, Grushko said. Previously, he coordinated with NATO and the EU operation to combat piracy, but now the Alliance refused this, said the Russian Ambassador.
The presence of Russia in the Black sea, Erdogan said in mid-may. He reported on his conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “I told him: you are not in the Black sea. Almost the black sea became a Russian lake. If we fail to act now, history will not forgive us”, — he said (quoted by Financial Times).
The Alliance is going to increase its presence in the Black sea, said in late April, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow. He also spoke about the strategy of Russia in the Black sea, which, in his opinion, “is part of a global effort at self-assertion”. Moscow’s actions “threaten to challenge NATO’s unity and territorial integrity of the Alliance,” he stressed.
At the NATO summit, which will take place in July, Romania intends to propose to create a fleet under the leadership of the Alliance in the Black sea. We are talking about the creation of a regular fleet consisting of ships of Germany, Italy, Turkey and the United States. The Alliance ships enter the Black sea today, but they only do that at the time of exercise. The initiative was supported by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, he expressed his willingness to join her.
The idea of creating a flotilla criticized in Moscow. In particular, the official representative of the foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that it could force Russia to take adequate steps to ensure their own security.” Grushko said that in the Black sea should not be attempts to increase the military presence of extraregional powers.