The US and its NATO allies are regularly engaged in exercises in the Black Sea, which occasionally involve forces from Ukraine and Georgia. Russia has repeatedly criticised such drills, saying they destabilise the situation in the region.
The United States is considering sending warships to the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine and as a warning to Russia, CNN has cited an unnamed Department of Defence source as saying.
The source added that the US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a possible deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Russia that the United States is closely watching rising tensions along eastern Ukraine’s borders. The Pentagon has not confirmed the information yet.
Ylena Panina, a member of the Russian Lower House (State Duma)’s International Affairs Committee, for her part, suggested that the US Navy sending its warships to the Black Sea may further aggravate the already tense situation in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region.
Konstantin Zatulin, the first deputy head of the Duma Committee for Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, said that alleged Pentagon plans to deploy US warships to the Black Sea would not come as surprise,
The Montreux Convention of 1936 restricts the stay of warships from non-Black Sea-adjacent states to 21 days. Additionally, no more than nine foreign warships weighing a total of 30,000 tonnes are allowed be present in the body of…