NATO and Russia Did Not Make a Progress; US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports To Fit American Warships

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on July 05 in last eight hours from

No breakthrough with Russia on INF treaty dispute – NATO’s Stoltenberg

NATO and Russia did not make significant progress on saving the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in talks at the alliance headquarters on Friday, Reuters reported, acording NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg statement.

Barring a last-minute decision by Russia to destroy a new medium-range missile that NATO says violates the INF, the United States is set to pull out of the accord on Aug. 2, arguing that it needs to develop its own warheads to deter Moscow.

Moscow says it is fully compliant with the INF treaty negotiated by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which eliminated the medium-range missile arsenals of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers.

“We have not seen any signs of a breakthrough,” Stoltenberg told reporters after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, a closed-door forum that allows for dialogue between the two sides’ diplomats and officials.

US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports To Fit American Warships

As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea, Breaking Defense reported.

Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv — 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea — the American-funded effort includes reinforcing and upgrading existing piers and adding a new floating dock, security fencing around the bases, ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new Maritime Operations Centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can direct exercises and coordinate activities.

The upgrades come after last November’s incident where Russian warships fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is still holding the crews.

The new American effort in Ukraine will likely rankle Moscow.

Since the Cold War, “the Russian military command has always held the fear that one day Ukraine would leave Russia and eventually there would be a NATO naval base on Moscow’s doorstep,” said Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military at CNA in Washington. “That fear led to Russia seizing and annexing Crimea, from which they could contest practically the entire Black Sea.”

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Source: Breaking Defense, Reuters