Disrespecting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) isn't freedom of expression: Russian President

Russia sees US, NATO Black Sea drills as ‘serious challenge’: Putin


Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast on Saturday that Moscow sees the recent exercises by the United States and other NATO ships in the Black Sea as a serious challenge.

“The United States and its allies in NATO are carrying out unplanned exercises in the Black Sea. Not only is a rather powerful naval group involved in these exercises, but also aviation, including strategic aviation. This is a serious challenge for us,” he said in an interview with state broadcaster.

His comments came after Washington this week raised alarms over Russian military activities close to Ukraine’s border.

US top diplomat Antony Blinken on Wednesday warned Russia against making another “serious mistake” on Ukraine as Washington sought clarity about troop movements near the border.

The European Union said on Friday that it is also concerned about Russia’s military activities near the Ukrainian border. The 27-nation group stated that it is monitoring the situation with partners including the United States and the United Kingdom.

A Pentagon spokesperson said that the Russian movement was “unusual in scale and scope.”

Since Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Kiev in 2014, Ukraine has been fighting pro-Moscow separatists in its eastern region.

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