US State Department considers the Sea Breeze 2011 exercise a display of close cooperation between the US and Ukraine, and welcomes Moscow to hold by its own opinion, said Mark Toner, spokesman for US State Department at the briefing on June 13.
Russian Foreign Ministry earlier stated that Aegis-carrying missile cruiser USS Monterey entering the Black Sea to attend the Sea Breeze 2011 Ukrainian-American naval exercise had aroused a number of questions. As for the foreign policy authority, those steps indicate the US still ignores Russia’s concerns and demonstratively shapes the kind of missile defense configuration opposed by Moscow. USS Monterey was dispatched to European waters under “phased adaptive approach” of the US Administration in order to shape European segment of global missile defense.
“They [Russians] are entitled to their opinion. I’m not going to parse the words of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and I’ll have to get more details about this exercise… But we have a strong bilateral relationship with Ukraine, and it’s in keeping with that kind of partnership that these exercises take place”, Toner said.
Source: rusnavy , June 16, 2011;