MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. NATO reconnaissance aircraft increased the number of flights near the Russian borders in the Black Sea region over the past 24 hours, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"Over the past 24 hours, reconnaissance aircraft of NATO countries increased the intensity of flights near the borders of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea region," the ministry said.
On November 9, the radars of the Russian Aerospace Force’s air defense troops tracked a US Air Force E-8C airborne ground surveillance, command and control aircraft over the Black Sea, it said.
"Also, Russian anti-aircraft missile troops tracked three reconnaissance aircraft of NATO member states over the Black Sea in the past 24 hours," the statement says.
A US Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft took off from the airbase on the Island of Crete in Greece and approached the Russian state border at a distance of 30 km. A US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane took off from the airbase on the Island of Sicily in Italy and approached the Russian state border at a distance of 70 km. A French Air Force C-160G Gabriel reconnaissance aircraft took off from the airbase in Romania and approached the Russian state border at a distance of 30 km, according to the statement.
"Another US Air Force U-2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft that took off from UK territory was spotted and tracked by reconnaissance radars over Ukrainian territory," the ministry said.
This aircraft approached the Russian border at a distance of 60 km, it specified.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, the Russian naval ships - the missile cruiser Moskva and the frigate Admiral Essen that have been accomplishing scheduled tasks in the southeastern part of the Black Sea since October 30 are tracking the Black Sea deployments by US warships that have arrived for an unscheduled multinational exercise.
At 08:56 Moscow time on November 10, the US guided missile destroyer Porter left the Georgian port of Batumi. At 09:20 Moscow time, the US Navy command ship Mount Whitney departed Batumi. The US Navy tanker John Lenthall is deployed in the southwestern part of the Black Sea, the ministry specified.
"The activities of the US Navy jointly with reconnaissance and strategic aviation in the Black Sea have confirmed the true goal of an unscheduled multinational exercise, namely, to test a potential route of military operations, in particular, the territory of Ukraine in case of Kiev’s preparations for a military scenario in the southeast," the Russian Defense Ministry stressed.
Defense Ministry’s statement
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on November 9 that the United States was setting up a multinational group of armed forces in close proximity to the Russian border.
As the Russian Defense Ministry explained, the US warships have arrived to take part in multinational drills that the US European Command is holding in the Black Sea region.
According to the ministry’s data, the US Navy’s guided missile destroyer Porter, the command ship Mount Whitney and the tanker John Lenthall have been deployed to the Black Sea to take part in multinational drills of the US European Command.
As the Russian Defense Ministry stressed, these moves are unscheduled activities of the United States that is setting up a multinational group of forces in close proximity to the Russian borders.
Such moves are a destabilizing factor in the region and, in particular, pursue the goal of the military exploitation of Ukrainian territory, the ministry stressed in a statement. The Russian armed forces are continuously and closely following the situation. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is carrying out a set of measures to track the US warships’ deployments in the Black Sea, the ministry said.