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Putin Told Merkel US, NATO Actions in Black Sea Destabilizing

© Sputnik / Alexei Nikolsky / Go to the mediabankVladimir Putin speaking on the phone
Vladimir Putin speaking on the phone - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.11.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a phone conversation on Thursday that increased US and NATO activity in the Black Sea is destabilizing, the Kremlin said.
"The destabilizing and dangerous nature of the provocative activities of the armed forces of the United States and a number of other NATO countries in the Black Sea was also noted," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the US Sixth Fleet announced that its flagship Mount Whitney departed to the Black Sea to conduct drills with NATO allies and partners. On Monday, Mount Whitney along with US destroyer Porter entered the Georgian port of Batumi.
Ukraine welcomed the presence of the alliance's forces near Crimea which it considers to be its annexed territory. The peninsula rejoined Russia in 2014 as a result of a referendum, which saw the vast majority of the population voting in favor of the reunification.
Moscow, for its part, sees NATO activities in the Black Sea as a provocation to spur tensions and pursue the policy of containment of Russia.
War ships of the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2 take part in a military drill on the Black Sea, 60km from Constanta city March 16, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.11.2021
Risk of Clashes in Black Sea Escalates as NATO 'Tests' Russia, Deputy FM Warns
Putin and Merkel also continued discussing the situation on the borders between Belarus and the EU member states. They already discussed the situation during another phone conversation on Wednesday.

"The discussion of the situation on the borders of Belarus with the EU countries was continued. The importance of an early settlement of the acute migration crisis that has arisen was confirmed - in accordance with international humanitarian standards," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin also called for the restoration of communication between the EU countries and Belarus to solve the issue.
Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her turn, told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the current situation on the Belarusian-Polish border had been caused by Minsk’s actions.

"During the phone conversation, the chancellor and the president of Russia exchanged views on the current situation on the Belarusian-Polish border. The chancellor stressed that the reason for this was the Belarusian regime, which uses defenseless people in a hybrid attack on the European Union," the German government said after the two leaders' phone conversation.
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