ANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Wednesday NATO's insufficient military presence in the Black Sea and urged the Alliance to enhance cooperation in the area.
"We should enhance our coordination and cooperation in the Black Sea. We hope for concrete results from the NATO summit in Warsaw on July 8, 9… The Black Sea should be turned into the sea of stability. I told the NATO secretary general that you are absent in the Black Sea and that is why it has nearly become a Russian lake. We should perform our duty as we are the countries with access to the Black Sea. If we do not take action, history will not forgive us," Erdogan said in Istanbul.
NATO has been increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014, in response to what it considers to be Russia's aggressive foreign policy.
Russia has repeatedly dismissed the Ukraine-related accusations leveled at it, warning that increased NATO activities near the country's borders could undermine regional and global stability.