MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. US and NATO guided missile ships that enter the Black Sea are attempting to test the strength of Russia’s Black Sea coast and southern border protection, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday.
"Well, you know when we see this: when a warship belonging to a non-regional power enters the Black Sea and we understand that it carries long-range precision weapons, when we see that these weapons are aboard it and it is not on a tourist tour, we, naturally, keep a close eye on it and track it and we understand that any provocations are possible at any time as was the case recently with a British destroyer and, of course, we must prevent such things," the defense chief said in a live broadcast of the TV program ‘Moscow. Kremlin. Putin’ responding to questions from journalist Pavel Zarubin.
"To speak more exactly, this is, of course, almost a constant attempt to test us to see how much we are prepared and how effectively we have built our system along the Black Sea coast and generally in the south of our country," Shoigu said.
As the Russian defense chief stressed, "they are not alone in such tests of strength and such approaches."
"As I understand it, they are subsequently planning drills with our neighbors, drills with the Georgian and Ukrainian navies. But we also hold drills and will keep doing so," the Russian defense chief said.
Currently, two US warships are operating in the Black Sea: the flagship, command ship Mount Whitney and the guided missile destroyer Porter. The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s forces and capabilities are keeping a close eye on the US warships in the Black Sea. The US 6th Fleet earlier announced that the warships had deployed to the Black Sea for joint operations with NATO allies and partners in the region.