The United States is fed up with imposing sanctions on Russia. Any new sanctions will hit the economy of the United States more than the Russian economy. Sanctions do not work. The United States sees this and understands it.
The NATO is increasing its activities in the Black Sea [reconnaissance flights and presence of military vessels] because the US wishes to provoke an incident between NATO and Russia, similar to the provocation that took place in Kerch. The US wants to provoke a violent Russian response in order to block rapprochement between Russia and Turkey and to undermine the Turkish stream natural gas pipeline project.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western provocations in the Black Sea. No evidence is provided about US plans to provoke an incident between NATO and Russia in the Black Sea. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the incident in the Kerch Strait. This is a continuation of the Russian narrative that, on the 24th November 2018, Ukrainian ships approached the Kerch Strait without giving any warning, leading the Russian side to open fire. The situation in the Sea of Azov was addressed by the 2003 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia, which defined these territories as internal waters of the two states and gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels; whereas both the 2003 agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for the freedom of navigation. Ukrainian ships did NOT enter Russian territorial waters, but “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. Therefore this was NOT a provocation. For more disinformation cases about the Kerch Strait read here.