[Global Network Military Reporting] According to Russian Satellite News Agency on September 24, former US Army commander and retired lieutenant general Ben Hodges in Europe said in an interview on the website that Russias actions would hinder NATO and Ukraines exercises in the Black Sea and arouse concern of the United States and its allies.
Hodges said Russia blocked access to these waters after NATO countries announced the venue for the next exercise in the Black Sea. After we announced the venue of the exercise, they blocked the corridors directly and imposed a temporary blockade on Odessa, he said.
Hodges does not rule out the possibility that Russia may block certain areas of the Black Sea in the future to ensure the safety of its infrastructure, such as pipelines. Of course its very possible, he explained. I have participated in some discussions about the possibility that Russia may blockade Lithuanias port of Klaipeda because of the threat to the Beixi pipeline. Therefore, I am absolutely convinced that all smart strategic thinkers have seriously considered these situations, and we should be prepared for them.
Reported that in July this year, the Ukrainian Naval Command accused Russias Agile frigate of sailing into NATO and Ukraine joint exercise Sea Wind 2019 closed area. Russias Black Sea fleet subsequently denied the news, saying it was in accordance with international law to follow NATO forces.
Russian reserve naval colonel and military expert Vassily Dandkin responded to the remarks made by retired American general Hodges on radio.
All Russian actions are carried out within the framework of international law, Dandkin said. The Black Sea fleet carries out planned exercises, which often coincide with Ukrainian and American and NATO military exercises. Russia will inform them that the Russian army will block the shooting range of the Black Sea fleet, and the United States will inform us during the military exercises. Such collaboration usually takes place at the cluster commander and fleet commander levels, who inform each other. This has been done since the Soviet Union, and it is still the same.
I dont think the U.S. likes Ukraines recent attitude towards Russia to be rational, he added. The progress of negotiations on the exchange of detainees and natural gas shows this rationality. This has caused dissatisfaction in the United States, so I think there will be similar comments in the future. The Black Sea fleet will conduct exercises at the strength required by the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Our situation in the Black Sea is now under control.