MOSCOW, June 04. /ITAR-TASS/. The French frigate Surcouf, which entered the Black Sea on May 28, conducts electronic reconnaissance of military facilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, a military diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS.
The source said the frigate “is maneuvering in the northern part of the Black Sea, occasionally approaching the Crimean coast by 50 to 60 kilometers”.
“According to available data, a NATO combat ship makes electronic reconnaissance of military facilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, located along the coast of the peninsula, as well as major administrative and strategic facilities in the coastal area,” the source said.
He added that the Surcouf was operating within the framework of a joint mission with the US missile cruiser Vella Gulf. “At the present moment, the American warship has called at the Romanian port of Constanta, and earlier it visited the Bulgarian Varna,” the source said. He said the French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lome, which entered the Black Sea on May 14, left for the Mediterranean on May 29.
Military expert Vladimir Shcherbakov, for his part, told ITAR-TASS that unlike the Dupuy de Lome, the Surcouf “does not specialize in reconnaissance tasks, but at the distance of about 30 miles (about 50 kilometers) from the coast, its equipment can effectively ‘probe’ ground facilities”.
“In particular, it can monitor any kind of conversations, including telephone conversations and e-mails,” he explained.