The US State Department has classified Russia’s partial blockade of the Black Sea as an “unprovoked escalation of the situation.”
Agence France-Presse reported that US State Department spokesperson Price issued a statement on Monday (19th) that Russia’s blockade of the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea, “represents Moscow’s yet another destabilizing operation in Ukraine and an unprovoked escalation of the situation.”
Price also said: “The current developments are particularly worrying because, according to reliable reports, the size of Russia’s military assembly near the borders of Crimea and Ukraine, which it annexed, has now far surpassed its invasion in 2014. The level of Crimea.”
Russian state media previously reported that Moscow will hold a series of exercises in the Black Sea and will prohibit foreign warships or official ships from entering the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov for a period of six months.
The Ukrainian government accused Russia of blocking the Kerch Strait and preventing the Ukrainian navy from entering its port.
The Kerch Strait is the only channel connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Russia and Ukraine have not been able to reach an agreement on the division of the Sea of Azov. After the Crimea referendum, the two sides formed a situation in which they occupied part of the sea of Azov.