the Interfax news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as calling the two US warships due to arrival in the Black Sea this week a “provocation.” The deployment comes amid alarm in the West sounds over a big build-up of Russian forces close to Ukraine’s eastern border and in Crimea. Russia has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes. “There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores, this is “provocative in the direct sense of the word,” said Ryabkov. “They are testing our strength, playing on our nerves. They will not succeed,” Ryabkov said.
“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. The risk of unspecified incidents is very high.”