Russia's Deputy FM: "Any NATO efforts in the Black Sea region are senseless"

# 03 April 2019 14:46 (UTC +04:00)

The Kremlin negatively assesses NATO's statement on ships in the Kerch Strait, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday, ONA reports citing Sputnik.

“Negative. We do not understand what is meant, the situation with the Kerch Strait and shipping is well known, and in accordance with international law, Russia's position is very consistent, and it is also well known,” Peskov said when asked how the Kremlin assesses NATO's statement about plans to send ships to the Kerch Strait.

When asked under which circumstances Russia could allow NATO vessels to enter the Kerch Strait, Peskov said Moscow considers hypothetical arguments to be incorrect, adding that a decision will be made if a relevant request is received.

Speaking on the issue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Wednesday that an increase of NATO activities in the Black Sea entails risks to the security of the entire region.

"Our positions are clear: any NATO efforts in the Black Sea region are senseless from a military point of view. They will not strengthen the security of either the region or NATO itself, but will be associated with additional military risks," the diplomat said.

Russia is ready for any changes in the military security in the Black Sea region and will take additional defense measures if necessary, Grushko added.