Russia has repeatedly expressed concerns over NATO's military buildup along its western borders, warning that the alliance's expansion undermines regional and global security.
"NATO is today attempting to move its confrontational schemes to the Black Sea. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Black Sea cannot be transformed into a 'Russian lake.' But NATO is well aware that the Black Sea will never become a 'NATO lake' and we will take all necessary steps to neutralize possible threats and attempts to pressure Russia militarily from the south," Alexander Grushko told Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
He added that the alliance had already implemented a number of assurance measures in the region, such as intensification of NATO maritime patrols in the Black Sea, surveillance flights of AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) in the region and presence of the US Marine Corps Black Sea Rotational Force in Romania.