MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. The chairman of the Russian State Duma’s defense committee, former Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, sees no reason why Ukraine should participate in NATO’s hypothetical naval group in the Black Sea.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukrainian naval ships might join a Black Sea flotilla under NATO’s auspices.
"Poroshenko has been trying to devise another counterbalance to Russia, but show me the one who would be able to understand what is it Ukraine does not like about the current situation," Komoyedov told the media.
"In the summer of 2001 in cooperation with the Ukrainian Naval Command we created a rapid reaction group called Black Sea Force, incorporating all littoral states, including Ukraine," he recalled.
"What kind of other flotillas does he need at a time when Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia agreed to interact within the Black Sea Force? As for Georgian naval sailors, we always provided them with potatoes and buckwheat," Komoyedov said.
He is curious "what Ukraine will get from the creation of NATO’s flotilla except for extra costs of repairing its flagship The Getman Sagaidachny.
"Possibly, after mentioning Russia for the 19th time in its military doctrine as a potential enemy they’ve decided to round the list to 20," he speculated.
The idea of creating a separate flotilla in the Black Sea fleet under NATO’s command was voiced by the Romanian government early this year.