Stoltenberg: NATO increases presence in the Black Sea and is watching Russia

NATO is closely monitoring the security situation in the Black Sea and increases its military presence in the region, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels.

“NATO has increased its military presence in the Black Sea region. With more naval presence. Last year the number of days with NATO ships or ships on the NATO command in the Black Sea increased from 80 to 120 and there are also, of course, NATO Allies which have deployed ships in the Black Sea outside the NATO framework but still they are NATO Allies. We have NATO air policing over the Black Sea region and we have a new brigade – a multinational brigade in Romania,” Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General said that the Alliance will further support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and will provide political and practical support.

“We have provided support in different forms, helped them with modernizing their armed forces, command and control, cyber, hybrid but also several NATO Allies provide bilateral support with training and equipment,” he said.

On November 25, Russia captured the Ukrainian military boats Berdiansk and Nikopol and the tug boat Yany Kapu in neutral waters. There were 24 Ukrainians on board. They were accused of violating the state border, arrested and taken from Kerch to Moscow. Ukraine regarded the event as an act of military aggression and imposed martial law in 10 border areas until December 26, 2018.

  Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Crimea, Kerch Strait, Stoltenberg, NATO