According to the bulletin of the Department of Navigation and Oceanography of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the restriction will last from April 24 to October 31.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a regular press briefing on Friday that the United States believes that Russia’s suspension of the passage of foreign military and state vessels in several areas of the Black Sea is an attempt to destabilize Ukraine.
“This will be another example of the ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine. We call on Russia to stop pursuing ships in the region and building up forces along the border with Ukraine and in Crimea”, – he said.
“We reaffirm our unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters”.
According to the bulletin of the Navigation and Oceanography Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, from April 24 to October 31, the passage of foreign warships and other state vessels in a number of Black Sea regions in the zone of Russia’s territorial waters is suspended. The document does not specify for what reason and in the interests of which department the indicated areas are closed.
In an interview with RIA Novosti, State Duma deputies responded to the Pentagon’s claims due to plans to close access to the Black Sea and Azov. According to the deputy Ruslan Balbek, such calls of the alliance should “sound before another audience”.
“Maybe they still need to free our airfields near Moscow for convenience? The impudence of these gentlemen has lost reasonable boundaries: give them the Crimea, then free the strait”, – Balbek said.
In addition, the head of the Crimean parliament’s committee on people’s diplomacy and interethnic relations, Yuri Gempel, announced the legality of blocking a part of the water area within the territorial waters of Russia.
“Moscow’s measures are justified and expedient, given the constant escalation of the situation”, – he said.
Also, the Pentagon’s statement that the United States will not stop operations of warships in the Black Sea with an appeal to the Russian Federation not to “threaten” foreign ships, commented Senator Alexei Pushkov.
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“Before Biden had time to declare that the US was interested in de-escalation, the Pentagon warned that it did not intend to stop the operations of US warships in the Black Sea. That is, at any moment I am ready to start a new round of escalation around Ukraine. This line is confirmed by the entire US policy. Biden’s words are not backed up by anything. And soon a new transfer of US and NATO military instructors to Donbass, you see, will arrive in time. Of course, in the name of “de-escalation”, for what else”, – wrote Pushkov in his Telegram channel.