The project to create NATO’s "Black Sea flotilla" undermines security and stability forcing Russia to retaliate, says an answer of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to journalists’ questions posted on the ministry’s website Wednesday.
"NATO’s senior officials have not commented yet on this questionable project," the diplomat said. "According to media reports, Romania promotes it to the agenda of the forthcoming alliance summit in Warsaw to be held in July."
Zakharova noted that "it is quite obvious that discussions of this issue, let alone the practical steps, of course, if they are taken, will by no means contribute to preserving the Black Sea as a region of peace and good neighborliness, something that Bucharest advocates vehemently in words." "Along with the deployment of missile defense system elements in Deveselu and other US and NATO military infrastructure facilities in Romania and other countries, they indicate a desire to step up military activity in the region in close proximity to Russia’s borders," she added.
"This seriously undermines security and stability in this part of the continent forcing Russia to take adequate countermeasures to ensure its own security," Zakharova noted.
"The idea was originally proposed by Bucharest," she recalled. "It is promoting this initiative. Presenting itself as an ‘outpost’ to contain Russia ‘on the eastern flank’ of the North Atlantic Alliance, Romania has contributed in every possible way to boosting U.S. and NATO military presence in the Black Sea region putting forward its own initiatives. These include the idea to create a permanent NATO Black Sea force. According to the Romanian representatives, this would be "a natural complementary component" of the NATO forces’ ground presence in the region."
"According to Bucharest’s proposals, naval ships of some regional members of the alliance (Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey) should form the basis of such ‘flotilla’," Zakharova pointed out. "Besides, the group is to be reinforced by vessels of other NATO member-countries, primarily, the US, the UK, Germany, Italy and France on a rotating basis. The idea’s authors have invited Ukraine and Georgia, the alliance’s Black Sea ‘partners,’ to join the future grouping. As we know, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said during his recent visit to Bucharest that Kiev was ready to join this project."