https://ahvalnews.com-The Russian Navy directed six of its warships to the Black Sea as part of what the service described as a set of global readiness exercises for all of Russia’s fleets, Euronews reported on Wednesday.
A trio of Russian vessels appeared for transit the Bosphorus Straits, the waterway across Turkey that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. The landing craft – Minsk, Kaliningrad and Korolev – were captured on camera crossing through the straits by Istanbul-based geopolitical analyst and ship spotter Yoruk Isik.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry, these ships would be followed by the landing vessels the landing ships Pyotr Morgunov, Georgy Pobedonosets and Olenegorsky Gornyak. These vessels are capable of carrying a complement of tanks and 350 troop each, according to United States Naval Institute News.
The Russian vessels were transiting from the Baltic Fleet near St. Petersburg to the Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol in the occupied Crimean Peninsula. Their arrival was part of a pre-planned movement of naval resources for service-wide readiness exercises that began in January for Russia’s four main fleets. However, their arrival takes on an added urgency because of the ongoing fear that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine.
Talks to resolve the crisis have produced no results and remain ongoing. President Vladimir Putin of Russia maintains that the West has ignored Moscow’s security interests by refusing to halt the expansion of NATO or retreat behind its 1997 boundaries.
The United States has threatened to employ severe sanctions on Russia together with its European partner if it invades Ukraine as feared. More than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been positioned along Ukraine’s northern, eastern and southern borders.
Turkey, a NATO member with strong military ties to Ukraine while keeping cordial relations with Russia, has been unnerved by the prospect of war in the region. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered to mediate between Ukraine and Russia, but Putin has not committed to joining any such talks.
Under the 1938 Montreux Convention that governs maritime activities in the Black Sea, Turkey is authorised to close the Bosphorus to foreign military vessels during wartime situations. It has done little to prevent the travel of Russian naval ships in and out of the area, even when they violate terms of the Convention.