Russia's Defense Ministry issued a sharp rebuke to diplomats from the United States and Israel for a joint naval exercise that included the test-firing of several ballistic missiles.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said the launch "could have a negative effect on security in the region and the world," The Times of Israel reported on Monday. The joint exercise, which went forth Tuesday, led to the Kremlin's issuing a brief alarm and to Russia's military responding with its own defense system deployment, RIA Novosti reported.
Mr. Antonov described the U.S.-Israeli exercise as irresponsible and said it could have ignited military conflict.
He said, as The Times of Israel reported: "Is there any other region more volatile and packed with weapons today? I don't completely understand how someone could play with arms and missiles in that region today. The Mediterranean is a powder keg, and a match is enough for fire to break out and possibly spread not only to neighboring states but to other world regions as well. I remind you that the Mediterranean is close to the borders of the Russian Federation."
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the drill had been planned "a long time ago" and, in essence, there was no harm done.
© Copyright 2015 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.