Russians seeing spy mania everywhere - Military expert Koziy about the confrontation of the Russian and NATO ships in the Black Sea

21 February 2019, 11:45

The current presence of NATO ships in the Black Sea, in particular, the American missile destroyer Donald Cook is a normal practice.

This opinion was expressed by Igor Koziy, a military expert at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, in a commentary to QHA-media.

A totally normal practice related to the fact that the Russian Federation creates some kind of conflict in the Black Sea: First, they have claims to Georgia, then they have claims to Ukraine. Accordingly, the approach on the part of NATO is totally adequate. Because where are the guarantees that tomorrow the Russian Federation will not have claims to Bulgaria for example?

February 19, the American missile destroyer Donald Cook entered the Black Sea. The press service of the 6th US Navy explained this by the need of an operation to ensure maritime security and increase stability in the region, as well as to alert the naval potential with NATO allies and other partners.

In response, two Russian warships organized continuous surveillance of the Donald Cook.

According to Igor Koziy, NATO member states are thus trying to protect themselves first of all, and to ensure the security of the region as well.

The expert was not surprised that the Russian Orekhovo-Zuevo small rocket ship and the Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship were following the American destroyer.

“The fact that Russians see espionage everywhere is self-evident due to their actions. When, for example, they arrest people without actual suspicion. The Black Sea is not an inland or closed sea. International maritime law applies to it. Accordingly, as three NATO states have the access to the Black Sea, I see absolutely no reason for concern,” Koziy said.

On February 14, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak said that in 2019 NATO would significantly intensify its military presence in the Black Sea. He made a corresponding statement, summing up the meeting with NATO defense ministers in Brussels.