The Pentagon called on the Russian Federation to abandon the ban on foreign ships from entering a number of sea areas.
“We know that Russia has announced its intention to prohibit foreign ships and government vessels from passing through the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov and parts of the Black Sea until October, citing military exercises,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
According to him, this is “another example of a campaign to undermine Ukraine.”
“We call on Russia to end threats to courts in the region and reverse the building of military capabilities near Ukraine’s borders,” Kirby said.
“We have been conducting operations of warships in the Black Sea on a routine basis, and this will continue,” he said.
In an interview with RIA Novosti, State Duma deputies responded to NATO’s claims over 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: either give them the Crimea, or free the strait, ”Balbek said.
At the same time, State Duma Deputy Mikhail Sheremet noted that Russia acts exclusively within the framework of national and international law, in particular, the law of the sea.
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.