US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman earlier characterised the deployment of two carrier groups in the Mediterranean Sea as a signal to Russia, saying the warships represented “100,000 tonnes of international diplomacy” amid alleged Russia’s “destabilising activities around the world.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on Ambassador Huntsman’s remarks, advising the envoy to study history.
“I would like to remind the Ambassador that Russia, throughout its centuries-long history, has repeatedly encountered such threats, issued as recommendations, and has repeatedly demonstrated their worthlessness… Perhaps the Ambassador would like for Russia to have one more holiday to celebrate? To be honest, we didn’t have any such plans”, Zakharova said, apparently referring to the upcoming Victory Day holiday, which Russia celebrates annually on 9 May in honour of the victory over Nazi Germany in WWII.
Zakharova also lamented that the language of threats and sanctions seems to have become the calling card of US diplomacy.
The Foreign Ministry earlier noted its bewilderment over Huntsman’s comments, saying he had completely exhausted his potential as a diplomat, and adding that Russia had the ability to reduce the “100,000 tonnes of international diplomacy” that the ambassador boasted about to rusty metal at the bottom of the sea if its security was threatened.
On Tuesday, Ambassador Huntsman said that the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS John C. Stennis carrier strike groups in the Mediterranean Sea was a message to Russia, noting that “diplomatic communication and dialogue coupled with the strong defence these ships provide demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilising activities around the world.”
The carrier groups kicked off joint combat training operations in the Mediterranean on Tuesday, with the strike groups consisting of 10 ships, 130 aircraft, and over 9,000 sailors, airmen, and marines. This is the first simultaneous deployment of two carrier groups in the Mediterranean since 2016.