The landing of US warships in the Black Sea to help NATO allies has enraged Russian President Vladimir Putin, who claims that one of the ships is in the Russian military’s “crosshairs.” On Monday, Putin told military leaders that Russia’s air defences must be strengthened. According to The Associated Press, Putin noted NATO’s US-led missile defence system’s deployment in Eastern Europe, as well as missions by alliance ships in the Baltic and Black seas.
A US warship has entered the Black Sea right now, and we can see it in binoculars or in the crosshairs of our defence systems,” Putin stated during the gathering in Sochi, Russia’s southernmost city. Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet announced its warships had simulated destroying hostile targets. Russia may be back in the Middle East, but it is a truly strategic player. As the sixth anniversary of Moscow’s military intervention in Syria approaches in September 2021, Russia’s return to the power politics of the Middle East and North Africa is hard to ignore.
After participating in NATO drills in the Aegean Sea, the destroyer USS Porter entered the Black Sea on Saturday for a normal patrol, according to the US 6th Fleet. Cmdr. The flagship of the US 6th Fleet, the USS Mount Whitney, arrived in Istanbul on Monday for a port visit and will shortly join Porter, according to a statement from the US 6th Fleet.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Karl Schonberg, a fleet spokesperson, Mount Whitney was still docked on Tuesday. The Black Sea is said to enter through this harbour. Russia has traditionally objected to NATO and US warships in the Black Sea, particularly when they pass close to the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.