The official representative of the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy, whose area of operational responsibility includes Europe, Kyle Raines, said that the ships of the US Navy maintain a regular presence in the Black Sea, and future operations are not discussed, TASS reports.
“American ships maintain a regular presence in the Black Sea and comply with the Montreux Convention. As part of our policy, we are not discussing future operations or ship schedules, ”said the agency’s source, commenting on the information that two US Navy ships next week will pass through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and will remain there until May 4.
According to a Turkish Foreign Ministry source, two American destroyers will enter the Black Sea on April 14 and 15. Turkish TV channel NTV clarified that it is about the destroyers Roosevelt and Donald Cook.
The American source, in turn, said that the US Navy regularly sends its fleet to the Black Sea, but now this step will mean a “special message” for Russia. He added that Washington is preparing for such measures in connection with allegations of an alleged build-up of Russian forces near the Ukrainian borders.
The Russian Embassy in Turkey reported that Ankara sent a notification to the participants of the Montreux Convention about the passage of American warships from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and back.
Yesterday, CNN, citing a Pentagon source, reported that the United States is considering sending warships to the Black Sea in the coming weeks to show its support to Ukraine. At the same time, the Pentagon did not confirm this information to TASS.
In recent days, Western countries have repeatedly expressed concern about the statements of the Ukrainian military about the build-up of Russian forces along the border with Ukraine. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the movement of Russian troops across the territory of the Russian Federation should not bother other states, since it does not threaten them in any way. He also called the events in Donbass an internal Ukrainian conflict, stressing that Russian troops never took part in it.
The situation in Donbass became more complicated at the end of February, when shootings began to take place there almost every day. On March 30, Vladimir Putin held a videoconference with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among other things, he expressed concern that Kiev is destabilizing the situation in Donbass.