NATO to bolster Black Sea patrols amid Russian threat

The NATO alliance has announced it will step up patrols in the Black Sea region to counter Russia’s threats to civilian ships and its attacks on Ukraine’s ports.

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Photo:防衛省, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The decision was made at a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The meeting was convened at an ambassadorial level “to address the serious security situation in the Black Sea region following Russia’s unilateral termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye,” NATO said.

Afterwards, the Western security alliance announced that in response to Russia’s actions, “NATO and Allies are stepping up surveillance and reconnaissance in the Black Sea region, including with maritime patrol aircraft and drones.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Russia bears full responsibility for its dangerous and escalatory actions in the Black Sea region…. Russia’s actions also pose substantial risks to the stability of the Black Sea region, which is of strategic importance to NATO. Allies are stepping up support to Ukraine and increasing our vigilance.”

The NATO-Ukraine Council “strongly condemned Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea grain deal and its deliberate attempts to stop Ukraine’s agricultural exports on which hundreds of millions of people worldwide depend,” NATO said in a statement.

NATO allies and Ukraine also denounced “Russia’s recent missile attacks on Odesa, Mykolaiv, and other port cities, including Moscow’s cynical drone attack on the Ukrainian grain storage facility in the Danube port city of Reni, very close to the Romanian border.”

NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană, who chaired Wednesday’s meeting, said: “Russia continues to show utter disrespect for international law and for the people worldwide who depend on Ukrainian grain. Russia is threatening civilian ships, terrorising peaceful cities, and destroying parts of the world’s cultural heritage with its brutal strikes.”

He added: “We stand in solidarity with our Black Sea Allies, we will continue to protect one another, and we will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.” 

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

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Source: PAPNATOFinancial TimesUkrinform 

Radio Poland

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