Russian MoD denies talks on navigation security in Black Sea with NATO
Russia's Defense Ministry slams the news about talks between the Chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee as fake.
The Russian Defense Ministry stated on Wednesday that media allegations about talks between the Chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Rob Bauer, on shipping safety in the Black Sea were fake news.
Earlier, the Euractiv online resource quoted a NATO source as saying that Bauer and Gerasimov "recently agreed to ‘be careful’, especially with ships not navigating in close proximity of each other in the Black Sea to avoid ‘accidents’."
In a statement, the Defense Ministry indicated that "Western media speculations about an alleged ‘recent’ conversation between the Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Rob Bauer, are fakes."
According to the Russian Ministry, "There was no such contact, let alone ‘systematic’, with the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee or other representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance within a non-existent Russian-American crisis commission for conflict resolution."
The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the speculations about the conclusion of a certain "agreement" between Gerasimov and Bauer regarding the safe movement of ships in the Black Sea were "fictitious from beginning to end."
It is noteworthy that on October 29, the Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine carried out a drone attack targeting military and civilian ships in the Bay of Sevastopol in Crimea, saying that preparations for the attacks were done under UK specialists' guidance.
The attack led Russia to suspend its engagement in the grain deal while the UN urged for the deal to remain in effect.
Russia then demanded "commitments" from Ukraine not to use the grain exports corridor for military purposes, and after Russian President Vladimir Putin obtained these guarantees from Ukraine, he announced that he instructed the Defense Ministry to resume the grain deal operations.
The deal, brokered in July by Turkey and the UN, was made to ease up the global food crisis.
Read more: Russia gives proof UK involved in attack on Russian ships: Envoy