ANKARA, April 25. /TASS/. Ankara is not backing Washington’s plans to create NATO special deployment forces in the Black Sea region, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Monday, citing Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
The paper points out that the proposal to create such forces in the Black Sea region in order to contain Russia, which was presented by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin last year, particularly involves Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria.
"We told Romania and Bulgaria not to act hastily," the Turkish defense chief informed the newspaper, when asked about Ankara’s attitude to the US idea.
Hurriyet added that Akar’s diplomatic answer made it clear that Turkey was at odds with the proposal. The Turkish defense minister’s remark points to Ankara’s efforts to prevent the Black Sea region from turning into an arena for rivalry, conflicts and tensions between Russia, NATO and the US amid the Ukrainian crisis.
"Turkey seeks to use diplomatic avenues outside the Montreux Convention and persuasion to keep NATO allies away from the Black Sea," Hurriyet notes.