As the Ukraine is moving closer to a second round of the presidential election, in which incumbent
oligarch President Petro Poroshenko will face up professional comedian Volodimir Zelensky, the US has started undertaking fresh steps to destabilize the situation in the Black Sea region.
NATO is set to guarantee ‘safe passage’ of Ukrainian ships via the Kerch Strait and to deter Russia in the Black Sea, U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison stressed during a press briefing on April 2.
“I think that we have been working on a package to present to the foreign ministers, and it is a package that beefs up the surveillance, both air surveillance as well as more of the NATO country ships going into the Black Sea to assure that there is safe passage from Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Straits, the Sea of Azov,” she said.
“It is very important that Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine, as well as Georgia, have the security in that Black Sea area both for ships but also for their land-based safety,” Hutchison added.
She said that these measures are needed in respnose to the incident between the Ukrainian Navy and Russian coastal guards near the Kerch Strait, which took place on November 25, 2018.
In November 2018, 3 Ukrainian ships carried dangerous maneuvers and attempted to pass the strait without an approval from the Russian side. After a half day of attempts to convince the Ukrainian ships to obey to the rules of the passage [previously followed by other Ukrainian vessels for multiple year], Russian forces detained the ships. The Kiev-provoked situation triggered a large-scale escalation in the region. However, all mainstream media outlets and Western diplomats blamed Russia.
NATO foreign ministers are holding their regular April meeting in Washington on April 3-4 as they celebrate the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-led alliance. According to media reports, the US will push forward with the Black Sea issue agenda and attempt to justify a further militarization of the region by the bloc.
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