03:55 GMT +314 November 2018
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    Military Risks in Black Sea Region Grow Due to US, NATO Activities - Moscow

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry has noted the increased military risks in the Black Sea region caused, in particular, by the US and NATO activities, the ministry said in a press release following the board's meeting.

    "The board has noted the serious deterioration of the situation in the Black Sea region over the past years, the increased number of risks in the military field, including due to the actions of the United States and its NATO allies, the region's fragmentation and remaining negative trends in relations among the regional states. The need to maintain stability and security in the Black Sea region solely by coastal states, including by the means of enhancing mutual trust and using the existing formats of cooperation in the political and military fields, has been stressed," the press release read.

    The meeting of the ministry's board, chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, was devoted to the development of comprehensive cooperation in the Black Sea region.

    The ministry's board also stressed the need to expand comprehensive multilateral and bilateral cooperation in the fields of ecology, transportation, energy, culture, tourism and other areas in order to overcome existing problems and ensure the region's consistent development.

    The participants of the meeting also considered prospects for a more effective use of the regional multilateral cooperation formats, first of all, within the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

    READ MORE: Scale of NATO Practice Offensives Near Russia Growing — Defense Minister Shoigu

    Moreover, the board drew attention to the expediency of intensifying joint work with the Black Sea countries, in particular, Turkey.

    The United States and other NATO member states have been steadily increasing their presence in the Black Sea region over the past years, with the bloc's military exercises being held in the Black Sea waters and the US warships frequently entering the areas. The annual Sea Breeze drills that brought together this year the servicemen of 19 countries are thought to be the most large-scale maneuvers of the bloc in the region.

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    board, cooperation, NATO, Sergei Lavrov, Russia, Black Sea
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