On Tuesday evening, the ships of the second permanent naval group of NATO have entered the Black Sea.
2 May, 2018
The group, which is currently located near Russian borders, includes frigates of the naval forces of Spain, Turkey and Germany. The flagship is the British missile destroyer HMS Duncan.
There are specific treaties which govern how many, and for how long, NATO ships may be in the Black Sea, despite that Romania is a NATO partner. The US has recently violated this treaty, and was called to task on it.
As a result, what becomes of this Martime Group 2 deployment will be an interesting development, especially in light of growing US-Russia tensions over Ukraine and Syria.NATO Enters Black Sea Near Russia’s Borders
30 April, 2018
The United States military has deployed antitank missiles to the Russian border, amid deteriorating relations between Washington and Moscow.
The American-made Javelin antitank missiles arrived in Ukraine on Monday, the RFE/RL confirmed.
Rferl.org reports: A shipment of lethal aid would appear to deepen U.S. involvement in the simmering conflict and mark at least a symbolic victory for Ukraine in its effort to maintain Western backing in the ongoing conflict.
Russian Su-27 intercepts US spy plane over Baltic
A Russian air force Sukhoi Su-27 aircraft (file photo)
2 May, 2018
A Russian fighter jet has intercepted a US spy plane over the Baltic Sea, in an operation that American officials say was "unprofessional."
The incident took place on Tuesday, when a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 jet flew within 20 feet of a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane flying off Russian coast.
American officials said that pilots onboard the Poseidon did not feel threatened by the Russian jet's maneuver.
A Navy spokesman declined to release the details but described the encounter as "safe."
"Due to standing DOD policy, we do not release the details of safe interactions," said Lieutenant Commander Zach Harrell, a spokesman for US Naval Forces Europe. "If an unsafe interaction occurs in the future, we will be sure to provide you more information at that time."
Commonly referred to as the Pentagon’s most effective submarine hunting weapon, the P-8 aircraft is capable of using torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons.
Russia has been critical of the US military's presence near its territorial waters in the Baltic and Black seas, often using close fly-bys to keep American boats and aircraft away.
The last of such encounters happened in late January, when a US EP-3 Aries plane was intercepted by a Russian Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jet over international waters.
US military officials said then that the intercept was “unsafe,” accusing the Russian pilot of cutting "directly through the EP-3's flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the SU-27's jet wash.”
The Russian Defense Ministry, however, rejected Washington's account of the encounter, saying the interception "took place in strict accordance with international rules of airspace use."
The ministry blamed the US plane for flying too close to Russian airspace.
The Kremlin has repeatedly censured what it perceives as mounting anti-Russia hysteria and Russophobia in Europe, and calls NATO's military buildup at its doorstep a threat to its national security