Christopher Anderson, an aide to former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, testified that the White House canceled a Navy freedom-of-navigation operation in the Black Sea after President Donald Trump complained to then-national security adviser John Bolton about a CNN report that framed the operation as a counter to Russia, Business Insider reports, citing Politico.
"In January, there was an effort to get a routine freedom-of-navigation operation into the Black Sea," Anderson testified. "There was a freedom-of-navigation operation for the Navy. So we — we, the US government — notified the Turkish government that there was this intent".
Anderson said the White House asked the Navy to cancel the freedom-of-navigation operation because the report portrayed the operation as a move to counter Russia, which has increased its naval presence there since annexing Crimea in 2014.
As we reported earlier, Germany and four other NATO members signed a document in Hamburg, which is set to strengthen co-operation aimed at protecting maritime routes in the English Channel and the North Sea, Deutsche Welle reports.
NATO intends to strengthen its position in the North Sea and the English Channel in order to be ready to repel Russia's threat: The relevant provisions are contained in an agreement signed on Thursday, November 7 by heads of naval forces of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and the Netherlands in Hamburg.