The US Navy is not seeking a conflict with Russia due to the deployment of Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea, but is prepared to defend its interests in the region, said Vice Admiral James Foggo, commander of the US Sixth Fleet.
“Our maritime forces are ready to defend themselves. However, we do not seek conflicts with other forces operating in the area, “Foggo said in an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik on Thursday.
After saying that Washington cooperates with its allies and partners to dissuade the war and maintain the rules to guarantee international order, the vice admiral described US strategic access as “critical” to the area to “face the threats” directed against its allies and partners.
The comments of the US commander came in response to the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the country’s warships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles would be constantly deployed in the Mediterranean Sea amid the threat of terrorist incursions into Syria.
“Our ships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will mount a permanent guard in the Mediterranean Sea due to the continuing terrorist threat in Syria,” Putin said on Wednesday during a meeting with the country’s military authorities in the Russian city of Sochi, located on the eastern coasts. of the Black Sea.
The Mediterranean mission of the Russian missile frigate Admiral Essen, equipped with Kalibr-NK missiles, began on March 13. During last year’s mission, the warship struck the positions of the terrorist group ISIL (Daesh, in Arabic) in Syria.
The Mediterranean Sea has become a controversial area that could provoke a military confrontation between Washington and Moscow. A Russian diplomatic and military source has recently assured that the country’s Naval Force closely monitors the movements of warships of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in that maritime region.