17:47 14.02.2019

NATO will significantly increase its naval presence in Black Sea – Poltorak

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NATO will significantly increase its naval presence in Black Sea – Poltorak

In connection with Russia's actions threatening the security of the entire Azov-Black Sea region, NATO will significantly increase its naval presence in the Black Sea this year, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said following a meeting at NATO Headquarters with  defense ministers of the NATO countries.

"This year NATO's naval presence in the Black Sea will be significantly intensified. Every month, activities of ships will be carried out of both permanent NATO naval groups and key allies," wrote Poltorak on his Facebook page in Brussels on Thursday, while paying a working visit.

He said that during the meeting the issue of illegal actions of Russia in the Azov-Black Sea region was discussed.

"NATO strictly demands that Russia release our captured sailors and ships seized by the Russian Federation [near the Kerch Strait]. Freedom of navigation on the basis of international law has been violated by Russia and poses a threat to the security of the entire Azov-Black Sea region," Ukraine's defense minister said.

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