US navy frigate returns to the Black Sea
The US Navy frigate the USS Taylor has passed through the Dardanelles Strait, returning to the Black Sea after repairs and a few days after Nato said that it was increasing its presence on sea, air and land after Russia’s continuing interference in Ukraine.
The Taylor was in the Black Sea area earlier, at the time of the Sochi Olympics in February 2014, when she ran aground in an incident that caused the captain his command.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of violating the Montreux Convention which limits the number of vessels in the Black Sea. Lavrov said that the Taylor had remained in Black Sea waters for more than the 21-day limit allowed by the convention.
Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that his country would not allow the convention to be violated. He said that the Taylor had remained in the area past the time limit because of the accident.
Currently part of the US Sixth Fleet, the Taylor’s scheduled deployment includes supporting maritime security operations and theater security co-operation efforts, establishing and enhancing co-operation, and mutual training and interoperability with regional partner nations and Nato allies.
The vessel, commissioned in 1984, is due for decommissioning in 2015 and has been named as one of four US frigates that were the subject of negotiations for sale to Taiwan.
(Photo: US Navy)