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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Record number of NATO warships staying in Black Sea since Soviet times.(The Montreux Convention)

There are nine NATO warships in the Black Sea now, a record high number in decades, the RIA Novosti news agency reports citing a military-diplomatic source.

These include the US Vella Gulf Aegis-guided missile cruiser, the French Surcouf frigate and two reconnaissance ships – France’s Dupuy de Lome and Italy’s Elettra.

In addition, there’s a group of NATO minesweepers taking part in the Breeze-2014 naval exercises off the Bulgarian coast. Led by Italy’s ITS Aviere, it also comprises an Italian and Turkish minesweepers, ITS Rimini and TCG Akcay, and the Chiddingfold anti-mine ship of the British Royal navy.


"The American Vella Gulf missile cruiser arrived in Burgas on Tuesday morning. France’s Surcouf frigage re-entered the Black Sea on July 4 and has de-berthed at Batumi," the source said.

"That’s a record number of NATO warships in the Black See since the Soviet times," he added.

On July 4, the Russian Black Sea Fleet began large-scale drills involving about 20 ships and support vessels.

The Russian Navy has been closely watching NATO ship movements in the Black Sea.


  • Under the Montreux Convention, not more than nine warships of non-Black Sea countries can stay in the Black Sea simultaneously, not longer than 21 days each, with total tonnage not exceeding 30,000 tons.

This year, the US Taylor frigate stayed the Black Sea 11 days longer than allowed by the Montreux Convention.
http://indian.ruvr.ru/news/2014_07_08/NATO-warships-Black-Sea/
8/7/14

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  • Russian Navy Trains to Fight Assault as NATO Accumulates Ships in Black Sea 
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has started training for fighting an amphibious assault in light of the high concentration of NATO ships in the area, a representative of the Russian Navy told journalists Tuesday. 
"Today, July 8, during a planned training of various Black Sea forces, coastal defense troops subdivisions have started drills for the defense of a coastal amphibious assault at the military training grounds on the Crimean Peninsula," the Russian fleet representative said.
The drills are taking place due to unprecedented NATO activity in the Black Sea, where the alliance has nine ships, the most in decades.
Russian missile and artillery troops have also been practicing attacking surface groups and assault troops from an aggressor at sea.

  • Some 20 military vessels are participating in the drills that started July 4. NATO's navy is holding a parallel training exercise at the same time near Bulgaria.
  • A source at the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti earlier that Russian naval aviation is tracking all NATO moves in the Black Sea.

The ships rotate in and out of the sea, because, according to the Montreux Convention, military ships from nations that do not have direct access to the Black Sea can only stay in the area for a maximum of 21 days. American frigate USS Taylor violated the convention earlier this year, exceeding the limit by 11 days.
[MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti)] 

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