Vladimir Putin provokes NATO as Russian Navy 'tests resolve' in Black Sea

The accusation comes days after Moscow announced its intention to close five vast zones in the Black Sea. Russia also threatened peace in the region with an announcement to send 100 military aircraft to the disputed Crimean peninsula for live-fire drills next week. The Kremlin’s alleged move is just the latest move from President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea, who is seemingly using it for shows of military strength and to disrupt NATO allies in the region.

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Commodore Josee Kurtz, who commands NATO’s task force in the area, claimed that Russian ships intentionally pressured her flagship HMCS Halifax during live drills.

She also alleged that military aircraft swooped dangerously low to the sea.

Ms Kurtz, who is both the first woman to command a Canadian warship and be named as the commodore of a NATO task force, said: “They generally made their presence obvious.

“They were willing to test our resolve in passing closer to us.”

Putin and Trudeau could clash over the Black Sea incidentPutin and Trudeau could clash over the Black Sea incident (Image: GETTY)

The HMCS Halifax was carrrying out drillsThe HMCS Halifax was carrrying out drills (Image: GETTY)

The disruptions allegedly occurred when NATO was carrying out drills off the coasts of Ukraine and Bulgaria last month.

She confirmed that 8,000 square kilometres were cut off for Russian drills while HMCS Halifax was in the Black Sea – and that Russian ships got too close for comfort.

Mr Kurtz added: "I am aware of some figures that were given in terms of what the Russian Federation has designated as an exercise area for their purpose.

"There were some areas of international waters that had been designated as closed, or active exercise areas, for Russian Federation purposes while we were there.

“But of course, we're monitoring."

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin 'orders Russian Navy to block Black Sea' in show of strength to NATO

Russia carried out live drills in the Black Sea last monthRussia carried out live drills in the Black Sea last month (Image: GETTY)

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The two sides closely monitored one another while the drills were going on adjacently.

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