MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. US Admiral Robert Burke’s Russophobic rhetoric is designed to hide NATO’s real plans to escalate the situation in the Black Sea, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Monday.
It was "an attempt to use Russophobic hysteria to disguise NATO countries’ true plans to escalate the situation in the Black Sea," Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma (lower parliament house), wrote on his Telegram account. "It is not mere verbal saber-rattling. These pronouncements are extremely destructive and dangerous."
According to the Russian lawmaker, Burke’s words fit well into "Washington’s usual rhetoric" of passing the buck. "Burke’s words are especially in discord against the backdrop of the recent incident when a British warship incurred into Russia’s territorial waters," he noted.
"Russian border guards thwarted what is called a provocation quite professionally and precisely. We will continue to safeguard our state border and rebuff anyone who may try to violate it," he pledged.
Commander of the US Naval Forces in Europe and Africa Admiral Robert Burke said earlier that the Russian military was "baiting" the United States "into shooting first" in the Black Sea. He said he was "not going to ask my commanding officers to take the first shot on the chin." According to the US admiral, Russia poses the same threat to the United States as the former Soviet Union used to.