In accordance with the Montreux Convention, two US warships that planned to be passing through the Bosporus Strait in order to reach the Black Sea withdrew their naval mission.
Washington’s decision to cancel its scheduled deployment comes hours after a squadron of warships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet took to the waters to conduct artillery fire exercises. Also some 15 ships from the Caspian Flotilla were reportedly used in the drills.
The warships were originally slated to begin travel on April 14 and remain in the Black Sea until May 4, 2021, but the US embassy notified the Turkish foreign ministry regarding reports of the cancellation.
Late last week that Washington would be deploying the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Donald Cook to the region, shortly after the USS Monterey and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower transited the Bosporus Strait and conducted “multi-domain” NATO operations in the Black Sea.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko previously issued a statement to Sputnik stating that the increase of NATO activity and presence in the Black Sea could complicate regional security.
The increase in NATO activity since US President Joe Biden took office coincides with increased tensions in eastern Ukraine between Donbass and Kiev.
Russia, a guarantor of the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures, has urged Ukraine to respect the ceasefire terms of the agreement.
The Russian official added that, if escalation occurred, “the responsibility for the consequences of such an escalation will lay entirely at the feet of Kiev and its Western curators.”
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Military News 2021.