Putin accuses West of escalating tension in Black Sea - ednews.net

5 December,

Putin accuses West of escalating tension in Black Sea

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused NATO and Western countries of escalating the situation in the Black Sea, Anadolu Agency reports. 

Speaking at an expanded meeting of the Foreign Ministry Board in Moscow, Putin said NATO and the West go "beyond limits" conducting "provocative military exercises," and sending strategic bombers with "very serious weapons" to fly at a distance of only 20 kilometers from the Russian state border.

There have been several waves of NATO eastward expansion, anti-missile defense systems have been deployed right next to Russian borders with Romania and Poland, the president added.

"These (anti-missile systems) can easily be put to offensive use with the Mk-41 launchers there; replacing the software takes only minutes," he noted.

Russia repeatedly voiced its concerns but until recently the West has had a "superficial approach" to such warnings about red lines, he said.

"However, our recent warnings are flaring up and produce a certain effect. A known tension has arisen there after all," he said.

It is imperative to push for serious long-term guarantees that ensure Russia's security along its western borders, Putin stressed.

"No matter how difficult it may be, we need to work on this, and I want you to keep that in mind," he said.

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