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Russian MFA says US Black Sea drills intent on dividing Moscow, Europe with ‘small war’

On November 10, the Russian Defense Ministry said that US Navy ships arrived for a multinational exercise in the Black Sea region

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. US maneuvers and bullying in the Black Sea are designed to divide Russia and Europe with a "small war,’’ Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control, said on Rossiya 24 TV channel.

"I think the main goal of the US and the regime in Kiev, which now doesn’t know what else to do, is to divert attention away from the problems inside Ukraine,’’ he said. ‘’And for the US, it’s to divide Europe and Russia with a small war.’’

‘’They aren’t worried about what the outcome will be,’’ he went on to say. ‘’That’s what all these maneuvers and the bullying are for.’’

Moscow won’t succumb to these provocations as the country’s leadership and the Defense Ministry have the situation under control, the diplomat said.

"We can calmly hold talks and try to convince them until a certain moment comes when they [Western countries] lose their mind and wits,’’ Gavrilov said. ‘’We’ll do everything so that [moment] never comes,’’ he stressed.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on November 10 that US Navy ships arrived for a multinational exercise in the Black Sea region, which is being held by the United States European Command. According to the ministry, USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer, USNS John Lenthall, a replenishment oiler, and USS Mount Whitney, a command ship, were deployed in the area. USS Mount Whitney left for the Mediterranean Sea on November 15, following the completion of the exercise. Russia’s Defense Ministry said it treated these maneuvers as a destabilizing factor in the region, seeking, among other things, to practice using Ukrainian territory for military purposes. The Russian military was keeping a close eye on the situation in the region, the ministry said. President Vladimir Putin said activities of Western countries in the Black Sea were out of line.