US: Russia’s planned blockade of the Black Sea would be an “escalation” – Abroad – News


A weekly bulletin from the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Navigation and Oceanography Board reports that the right of foreign warships and official vessels to cross Russian territorial waters is suspended in some areas of the Black Sea from April 24 to October 31.

On April 15, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protested against Russia’s announcement of the closure of the Black Sea Strait in the direction of the Kerch Strait and demanded that the decision be revoked.

Such a move by Russia could make it more difficult to access Ukrainian ports in the Sea of ​​Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea by the Kerch Strait.

“This is another unprovoked escalation in the ongoing Moscow campaign to demolish and destabilize Ukraine,” said State Department spokesman Ned Pierce.

“This development is particularly worrying given the credible reports of the concentration of Russian troops in the occupied Crimea and around Ukraine’s borders, which is now at a level not seen since the Russian invasion. [Ukrainā] In 2014, “added Pierce.

The number of clashes between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed militants in Donbass has risen sharply recently, and there are growing concerns in the international community about the concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders.

The Kremlin does not deny the transfer of its troops, but insists that it has no intention of endangering anyone. Moscow claims that soldiers are participating in military exercises at the Ukrainian border.

The US regulator warns of the dangers of flights near the Ukrainian-Russian border

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has called on airlines to exercise extreme caution when flying in airspace near the Ukrainian-Russian border, Reuters reports.

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A FAA statement to U.S. airlines said that “growing regional tensions could lead to unexpected border clashes, increased military activity and / or conflict.” The FAA also requires airlines to provide information on scheduled flights in the region 72 hours before the flight.

In turn, a statement from the State Aviation Service of Ukraine states that, with the exception of “certain restrictions” on flights to the east of the country, the airspace over Ukraine is safe for flights. According to the service, there is an early warning procedure in place for threats to flights that may arise due to the conflict in Donbass.

In 2014, the FAA imposed a ban on flights over the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine.

On July 17, 2014, a Boeing 777 passenger plane of the Malaysian national airline Malaysia Airlines was shot down over the Moscow-backed militant-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew on board lost their lives in the crash. About two thirds of those killed were Dutch nationals.

Investigators have previously announced that the “Buk” missile, which shot down the plane, was delivered to Ukraine from a Russian anti-aircraft brigade based in Kursk.

In March last year, a lawsuit was launched in the Netherlands for the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane, in which four suspects are being tried.

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