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BRUSSELS, February 14. /TASS/. The NATO member-countries’ Defense Ministers will discuss efforts aimed at stepping up the alliance’s presence in the Black Sea region, including an increase in the number of port visits, at a meeting in Brussels, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, told a news conference on Tuesday in the run-up to the ministerial meeting due to be held on February 15-16.
"We have made decisions to further increase and we are now in the process of establishing a base around the Romania brigade to increase our presence in the multinational brigade framework, hosted by Romania and we are also looking into other elements of increased presence in the Black Sea region and Romania. We have increased the number of port visits and we are working closely with Romania and other countries in the southeast of the alliance on how we can further increase our presence."
Earlier reports said that the NATO member-countries are planning to hold Exercise Sea Shield in the Black Sea in the near future. A group of ships from the alliance’s member-countries entered the Black Sea on January 31.
Under the Montreux Convention, warships from non-Black Sea nations are permitted to stay in the Black Sea for no longer than twenty-one days in peacetime.