On Wednesday, Russia denounced a new navy deal between Ukraine and Britain as an example of the UK stepping up its military presence in the region.
“We regard this as another evidence of Britain’s growing military activity in countries neighboring on Russia, in particular, in Ukraine,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova told reporters, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
Under the deal announced Tuesday, London will loan Kyiv money to buy British warships and missiles. According to Sky News, Ukraine has an over $2 billion wishlist that includes two minehunters, the joint production of two missile ships, a frigate, and weapons for already-existing warships.
Russia views the British cooperation with Ukraine as a major provocation. The UK has also stepped up military activity in the Black Sea and is responsible for one of the biggest provocations in the region this year. In June, the British warship HMS Defender sailed about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Crimea.
The US and NATO have been hyping up the movement of Russian troops near Russia’s border with Ukraine. For their part, Moscow denies the movement of its military inside its own borders is meant as a threat and points to the increased NATO activity in the Black Sea as the source of tensions.