The Russian fleet has been tracking an Italian Navy frigate since it entered the Black Sea, after Ukraine and the NATO countries conducted military exercises in the same wider area, Russia's National Defenсe Management Center stated.
"The forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet are controlling the actions of the Virginio Fasan CGN frigate of the Italian Navy, which entered the Black Sea on 1 July, 2021," the ministry said in a press release.
Russia's Black Sea fleet announced earlier in the day that Russian warships had carried out a live fire training exercise in the Black Sea. The exercise took place in the same wider area where Ukraine and the United States held their Sea Breeze drills.
The White House refused to comment on Putin's words about the US role in the incident.
Last week, the Russian Defence Ministry's spokesman slammed the actions of the UK destroyer HMS Defender, which illegally crossed into Russia's territorial waters on 23 June, as an epic fiasco, and called on the UK Navy and the Pentagon not to tempt fate in the Black Sea.