Brusssels 20.04.2021 The United States voiced deep concern over Russia’s plans to restrict navigation for foreign naval ships and other state vessels in its territorial waters in the Black Sea, slamming this as “unprovoked escalation,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The United States expresses its deep concern over Russia’s plans to block foreign naval ships and state vessels in parts of the Black Sea,” the statement reads.
“This represents yet another unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine,” the US State Department said.
The State Department also noted that this development “is particularly troubling amid credible reports of Russian troop buildup” on the border with Ukraine.
According to a bulletin of the Russian Defense Ministry’s navigation and oceanography department, on April 24-October 31 navigation of foreign naval ships and other state vessels in some parts of the Black Sea in Russia’s territorial waters will be suspended. The document did not specify the particular reason for the move.
Earlier Russia asked Washington many times about the goal of US warships’ navigation in the Black Sea.
Kremlin ambassador to Lebanon said any U.S. missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted, a step that could lead to a major escalation in the Syrian war.
Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin said in Arabic to a TV channel, that he was referring to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces chief of staff.
The United States and its allies are considering whether to hit Syria over a alleged poison gas attack that medical relief organisations say killed dozens of people in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus during weekend.
Konstantin Kosachev, OPINION
Trump’s signature of the sanctions bill is news for the US domestic policy more than for the foreign affairs.
The idea that the bill will come into force became clear after the overwhelming vote first in the Senate, then in the House of Representatives and again in the Senate. So the bad news on this matter was released a week ago. Bad – because this bill absolutely does not solve any problem, but provokes new ones, and among them the major one is the further degradation of Russian-American relations.
The main news is that Trump has surrendered. Of the three options – go into confrontation with the Congress (veto the bill), refuse to sign it (“I do not agree, but I can not do anything about it”) and sign – the president has chosen the third option. Now the responsibility for the dramatic consequences associated with the forthcoming implementation of this ill-fated bill is not only on its initiators, but also personally on Trump.
And the consequences will be the following:
1. The USA profiles itself to the whole world as a state that ignores international law. The image of the country in the world will not strengthen, but fall.
2. Demonstratively ignoring the interests of their allies, while promoting only their own, the United States is seriously undermining the Transatlantic solidarity.
3. The United States does not leave a chance for constructive cooperation with Russia – the most important partner in solving the major problems of development in modern world. This cooperation will inevitably continue to be selective for years (decades?), and not only from the American, but also from the Russian side.
4. The prospect of further resolution of the Iranian and North Korean problems, with all the difference in their current positions, also looks very bleak. Consequently, real threats will be amplified, not reduced.
In other words, the USA, with the adoption of this bill, demonstrated a loss of adequate perception of the realities of our times, and, consequently, lost any rights in claims of an “exceptional” role in global leadership.
And this last circumstance may turn out in the future to be the only good news in this highly unappealing story.
Konstantin Kosachev: Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian Parliament).