NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance was forced to strengthen its presence in the Black Sea in response to Russia's actions.
According to Stoltenberg, it makes sense to recognize the strengthening of Russia in the Black Sea after the illegal annexation of the Crimea, Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference in Brussels with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal.
As long as NATO attaches strategic importance to the Black Sea region, Russia's military build-up in this region is a matter of concern for the alliance.
Not so long ago, a tactical boat group together with an American destroyer and a support ship conducted joint PASSEX training in the Black Sea with the participation of the aviation of the naval forces of the Ukrainian armed forces.
It is worthy of note that the United States have been increasing its presence in the Black Sea after Russia's reunification with the Crimea.
US ships and bombers appeared in the region days after President Biden warned Moscow that he would "act tough" against Russian aggression in the region.
The USS Porter, a cruise missile destroyer, joined the Donald Cook and the Laramie tanker ship that were already present in the Black Sea. According to the Military Observer Telegram channel, spokespeople for the US Navy said that upon arriving in the Black Sea on January 28, the US missile destroyer conducted an operation with the P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft and AWACS E-3A Sentry.
According to the Pentagon, the two US destroyers (USS Donald Cook and USS Porter) operate in the region, supposedly "within the framework of the NATO security enhancement operation." The entire contingent will be involved in coastal patrols. To date, the US Black Sea squadron is the largest since 2017.
According to The Times, NATO has been increasing its military presence in the Black Sea in response to Russia's illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, as well as to Russia's continuing military build-up.
NATO generally feels quite confident in the Black Sea, since Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria are members of the alliance and have access to the sea. In addition, Ukraine and Georgia regularly participate in NATO maneuvers in the region.
At the same time, Kiev does not believe that its actions threaten security in the region. However, military expert Alexei Valyuzhenich said that one would soon have to forget all jokes about the Ukrainian "toy fleet". The country does not have to have an invincible armada - it is enough for Ukraine to obtain the forces that, backed by NATO ships, will be able to exert pressure on Russia.
Valyuzhenich stressed that Ukrainian military men undergo regular training abroad, which is already a cause for concern. Of course, Ukraine has no money for large-scale projects, but the first step is the hardest. Spokespeople for the Biden administration already said that it was preparing supplies of military aid. Ukraine is turning into a real threat.
In about ten years, Ukraine may become a naval partner of NATO, albeit to the level comparable to that of Romania.
Ukraine alone is no threat to Russia at all, but in a coalition with another country, Kiev can create problems for the Black Sea region, the expert concluded.
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