Russia says NATO preparing for potential conflict in Eastern Europe, Black Sea

MOSCOW: NATO’s activities in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region are focused on preparing its allies for a potential confrontation with Russia, said the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, citing militarization activities in the region.

The Romanian authorities have previously announced their readiness to invest 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion) into modernizing the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in Constanta County. The base is set to expand into a military town capable of accommodating the families of 10,000 military personnel, with plans to create urban infrastructure, said the ministry.

Construction has begun in the southern part of the future military town, where access roads and a robust power grid are currently being built. The modernization of the air base could make it the largest North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) base in Europe by 2040. The U.S. military has been using this base since 1999, it said.

“The expansion of the Romanian air base is yet another proof that the North Atlantic bloc continues its unrestrained militarization of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The ministry added that “the forced enhancement of coalition capabilities is also taking place in Poland and the Baltics.”

“Such activity by NATO members is provocative, exacerbates military tension along our borders and creates additional security threats to Russia. All this is aimed at preparing the bloc’s allies for a potential collision with our country,” the ministry said.

“We will monitor the developments in Romania, assess the emerging risks and take them into account during military planning,” the ministry added.

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