Four Nato warships will enter the Black Sea by September 7, according to a report by Russian agency Itar-Tass, citing military and diplomatic sources.
The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross and French frigate Commandant Birot were expected to enter Black Sea waters on September 3, with Spanish and Canadian frigates to follow on September 6.
Under the Montreux Convention, naval vessels of countries that do not border the Black Sea may remain in its waters no more than 21 days – a matter that has been the subject of complaints by Russia of late, with Moscow alleging that some Nato vessels have breached this agreement.
An increased Nato presence in the Black Sea started from the beginning of 2014, with tensions escalating through the course of the year following Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine.
In March and early April, the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook and the destroyer USS Truxtun were in Black Sea waters. In April, two French warships passed the Bosphorus – the Dupuy de Lôme and the anti-submarine frigate Dupleix.
(Photo: USS Ross)