MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. The presence of US warships in the Black Sea may push Ukraine to try to stage a military provocation in Donbass with a view to secure the West's assistance, Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev wrote on Facebook.
"Given a sharp reduction in communication channels between Russia and NATO, instigators such as Ukraine and Georgia can really flare up tensions and give rise to dangerous incidents," he pointed out. The senator believes that the US military presence is sending dangerous signals "to some regional powers whose sanity is subject to reasonable doubt."
According to Kosachev, Kiev's ongoing complaints about the alleged increased number of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border point to barely concealed plans to carry out a blitzkrieg in Donbass. "Clearly, the Ukrainian authorities have been nurturing these plans for quite a while because saber-rattling could actually save them from domestic issues. However, the Russia factor keeps cooling Ukraine's hotheads as they realize - though they don't say it out loud - that they haven't yet faced any foreign aggression. However, the US Navy's presence can cause a Saakashvili syndrome, triggering an attempt to stage a military provocation similar to Georgia's attack on Tskhinval in 2008, based on the well-known mantra that 'The West will help us," the senior Russian senator emphasized.
Afghanistan's example makes it clear what kind of help the West offers, Kosachev went on to say. "Still, many in Ukraine do believe that the Americans will grant them the impunity they long for as a reward for their attempt to use force to resolve the country's domestic conflict," Kosachev added.
He noted that unexpected multinational drills involving ships capable of coordinating activities on land, at sea and in the air "don't help to calm down the already explosive situation in the region." "The provocative behavior of the United States and its allies within and outside NATO has long become Washington's signature style not only along our southern borders," the senator stressed.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier issued a statement saying that US warships had arrived in the Black Sea region to take part in multinational drills led by the United States European Command. According to Moscow, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter, the USNS John Lenthall tanker and the USS Mount Whitney command ship are currently stationed in the region. The Russian Defense Ministry emphasized that the United States' unexpected activities, in particular aimed at using Ukraine's territory for military purposes, constituted a regional instability factor. The Defense Ministry noted that Russia's Armed Forces were unremittingly monitoring the situation and keeping a close eye on the developments.