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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Russian fury at NATO’s Black Sea moves

by New Worker correspondent

A RUSSIAN warship fired warning shots at a Royal Navy destroyer that had violated Russia’s territorial waters this week, The Kremlin is now calling on the imperialists to scrap NATO naval war-games off the Russian coast following rising tension in the Black Sea this week.

Russian Senator Sergei Tsekov said the incident was a “flagrant violation of international norms” that could “provoke a serious conflict” and General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, told a Moscow security conference that NATO naval activity near the Russia’s borders had “significantly” increased.

“Ships equipped with high-precision long-range missile weapons operate almost on a permanent basis in the Black and Baltic Seas,” he said warning that these actions were “clearly provocative”.

The Russian patrol vessel opened fire after HMS Defender ignored warnings that deadly force would be used if it did not withdraw. A Russian Su-24M attack aircraft then carried out a mock bombing run against the British destroyer that then changed course and withdrew.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry “at 11:52 am on 23 June, HMS Defender of the British Royal Navy, operating in the north-western part of the Black Sea, violated the border and entered three kilometres into Russian territorial waters in the region of Cape Fiolent”.

Back in London the authorities tried to play down the incident claiming that no warning shots were fired and maintaining that the Royal Navy warship was conducting an “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.”

Earlier in the day, Moscow urged the United States and its NATO allies to stop military operations in the Black Sea region, calling instead for “multilateral efforts” aimed at maintaining stability, and for states in the region to resolve problems without unwanted “help” from outside powers – the latter a clear reference to the Ukrainian regime.

Meanwhile Moscow’s diplomatic mission in Washington has reacted furiously to news that NATO’s forthcoming war games in the Black Sea will practice naval battles and troop landings close to Russia’s coastline. The Russian Embassy said that “the scale and aggressive nature of the ‘Sea Breeze’ exercises in no way helps with the real challenges of ensuring security in the Black Sea region”. This will “increase the risk of unintentional incidents” and simultaneously “encourage militaristic sentiments in Kiev”.

US, British, French forces along with other NATO forces will lead the Sea Breeze drills along with Japanese and Ukrainian troops as well as those from America’s loyal lackeys in Poland, Georgia and south Korea.

The war games will run from 28th June to 10th July and, according to US military chiefs, will see imperialist forces rehearse “multiple warfare areas including amphibious warfare, land manoeuvre warfare, diving operations maritime interdiction operations, air defines, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations”.

The exercises will also provide a cover to covertly supply advanced weapons and munitions to the Ukrainian army and the fascist militias that are stationed along the cease-fire line with the breakaway people’s republics of the Donbas.

The Ukrainian regime clearly wants to exploit the NATO exercises to fast forward its effort to join the imperialist alliance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is demanding a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer from Joe Biden on the matter while Ukrainian troops continue their provocations all along the cease-fire line with the Donbas people’s republics that declared their independence in 2014 shortly after the fascist coup in Kiev.