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Two NATO warships enter Black Sea - source

Canada’s frigate Toronto and Spain’s frigate Almirante Juan de Borbon will take part in the international drill Sea Breeze-2014

MOSCOW, September 07 /ITAR-TASS/. Two NATO’s warships - Canada’s frigate Toronto and Spain’s frigate Almirante Juan de Borbon - have entered the Black Sea to take part in the international drill Sea Breeze-2014, a military diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS on Sunday.

“Both ships passed through Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea on Saturday evening,” the source said.

On Friday, September 3, another two NATO warships - as the French Navy Ship Commandant Birot and the U.S. destroyer Ross - entered the Black Sea. France’s ship Dupuy le Lome that had been staying in the Black Sea from August 16 left from the Mediterranean Sea on September 5.

“The NATO ships’ crews will conduct the Sea Breeze exercises from September 8 to September 10. It is expected that along with the four abovementioned ships the drills will involve Turkey’s frigate Oruc Reis, Romania’s frigate Regele Ferdinand and Georgia’s patrol boat Sukhumi,” the source added. “While staying in the Black Sea, the alliance’s warship may call at the ports of Constanta (Romania) and Odessa (Ukraine).”

According to the official website of the Ukrainian defence ministry, Ukraine will commission five warship and support vessels, and two border service’s boats to the exercises. Apart from that, the drills will involve planes and helicopters of the Ukrainian armed forces’ naval aviation. The drills will be monitored by observers from a number of countries, namely Georgia, Norway, Sweden and France.

In line with the Montreaux Convention, warships of non-littoral states cannot stay in the Black Sea for more than 21 days. France’s Dupuy le Lome stayed in the Black Sea 21 days, hence, the convention was not violated.