US makes preparations to sail warship into Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

The US has begun making the necessary preparations to sail a warship into the Black Sea, a move that comes a...

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 8:06 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2018 8:06 AM

The US has begun making the necessary preparations to sail a warship into the Black Sea, a move that comes amid heightened tensions in the region following Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships and detention of Ukrainian sailors.

The US military has requested that the State Department notify Turkey of its possible plans to sail a warship into the Black Sea, three US officials tell CNN, a move they said is a response to Russia's actions against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Armed forces

Black Sea

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Investigations

Marine transportation

Marine vessels

Military

Military vessels

North America

Oceans and Seas (by name)

Physical locations

Political Figures - Intl

Political Figures - US

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

The Americas

Transportation and warehousing

Ukraine

United States

US federal government

Vladimir Putin

White House

Military weapons

Weapons and arms

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Turkey

For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that its troops in eastern Crimea, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014, conducted a military drill with its Pantsir anti-aircraft missile systems.

Active preparations

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also claimed Wednesday that the Ukrainian government had undertaken "active preparations" for a military offensive in eastern Ukraine, using the recent declaration of martial law in select regions as a cover.

"Substantial offensive components are being transferred to the region, which are being dispersed along the entire contact line," spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Wednesday at a press briefing.

The US is required to notify Turkey about the passage through the straits under the Montreux Convention, a 1936 treaty that governs the passage of military vessels through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

Under the rules of the treaty, countries that do not have a coastline on the Black Sea are required to provide Turkey with at least 15 days' notice prior to transiting the straits.

'Prepared to respond'

A State Department spokesman said, "the United States carries out its activities consistent with the terms of the Montreux Convention. We will not, however, comment on the nature of our diplomatic correspondence with the Government of Turkey."

Two of the officials said that the notification was to provide the Navy the option to move a warship into the area, but that this option would not necessarily be selected.

"Our US 6th Fleet is always prepared to respond where called," said Cdr. Kyle Raines, a spokesman for the Fleet, which oversees naval operations in the region.

"We routinely conduct operations to advance security and stability throughout the US 6th Fleet area of operations to include the international waters and airspace of the Black Sea," Raines told CNN. "We reserve the right to operate freely in accordance with international laws and norms," he added.

The planning comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow on a range of issues.

On Wednesday, the US Navy sailed the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell near contested waters in the Sea of Japan Wednesday, an action that is bound to irk Russia.

The US warship conducted what the Navy refers to as a "Freedom of Navigation Operation" to push back against Russian claims on the waters. A spokesman told CNN Wednesday that Moscow lays claim to areas that far exceed the 12 miles from the Russian coastline that is guaranteed by international law.

The USS "McCampbell sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by the United States and other Nations," US Navy Lt. Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the US Pacific Fleet, told CNN in a statement.

Clash in the Kerch

Russia engaged in a confrontation on Nov. 25 with Ukrainian vessels around the Kerch Strait, which links the Azov Sea and the Black Sea. Russia rammed and fired on Ukrainian naval vessels, subsequently capturing three ships and detaining 24 service members. Ukraine imposed martial law for 30 days in several regions around the country in response, and has barred entry to male Russian nationals aged 16 to 60 for the duration of the state of emergency.

Russia's actions and its detention of Ukrainian sailors prompted President Donald Trump to cancel a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 in Argentina.

"Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin," Trump tweeted from Air Force One en route to Argentina.

'Unacceptable'

Ukraine says Russia had blocked traffic around the Kerch Strait, but Russia says the passage has been operating as usual, except for weather-related delays.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking at a NATO conference in Brussels Tuesday, said the alliance "will collectively develop set of responses that demonstrate to Russians this behavior is unacceptable."

Russia has "partially unblocked" Ukraine's ports on the Azov Sea, allowing ship traffic though the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan said Tuesday in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

The last US ship to enter the Black Sea was the fast transport ship USNS Carson City in October. The USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, left the Black Sea at the end of August.

Under the rules of the Montreux Convention, US ships can only be in the Black Sea for 21 days.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 87807

Reported Deaths: 2002
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25454917
Ramsey10349316
Dakota6995125
Anoka5596132
Stearns367023
Washington349255
Scott236632
Olmsted225327
Nobles192016
Blue Earth15566
Wright14937
Carver13197
Rice12908
St. Louis128229
Mower12614
Clay121340
Sherburne106313
Kandiyohi9112
Winona82818
Lyon6344
Steele5132
Freeborn5043
Nicollet49516
Watonwan4954
Benton4923
Todd4722
Le Sueur4413
McLeod4382
Waseca4228
Chisago4211
Crow Wing41018
Otter Tail3734
Beltrami3654
Goodhue3219
Martin2909
Itasca26413
Polk2624
Becker2372
Pine2360
Isanti2340
Carlton2311
Douglas2291
Cottonwood2140
Pipestone2089
Morrison1901
Dodge1880
Chippewa1851
Sibley1693
Meeker1662
Wabasha1660
Unassigned16552
Brown1642
Murray1492
Rock1450
Yellow Medicine1442
Mille Lacs1363
Faribault1290
Jackson1251
Cass1233
Renville1206
Roseau1090
Pennington1081
Fillmore1050
Houston1040
Swift1041
Kanabec1008
Koochiching1003
Lincoln950
Redwood930
Stevens901
Pope820
Hubbard710
Aitkin691
Big Stone660
Wadena610
Grant574
Wilkin553
Norman510
Lake480
Marshall481
Mahnomen451
Lac qui Parle410
Red Lake370
Traverse290
Clearwater240
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson130
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78552

Reported Deaths: 1255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15133256
Johnson496227
Woodbury486561
Black Hawk431686
Linn3722105
Story326317
Scott271227
Dubuque266140
Dallas265338
Pottawattamie195137
Buena Vista193312
Marshall175634
Sioux12753
Wapello124357
Webster118414
Muscatine105452
Clinton104618
Plymouth100120
Cerro Gordo98621
Crawford9804
Warren9226
Jasper74232
Des Moines7247
Marion7014
Tama68531
Carroll6275
Henry5974
Lee5857
Wright5571
Dickinson4756
Bremer4597
Boone4557
Washington42711
Louisa41915
Franklin33117
Mahaska32619
Delaware3183
Hamilton3143
Jackson2923
Floyd2913
Winneshiek2835
Benton2781
Clay2773
Hardin2731
Winnebago26211
Butler2572
Clarke2533
Emmet24810
Shelby2411
Jones2393
Allamakee2375
Poweshiek2368
Lyon2323
Buchanan2291
Clayton2273
Cedar2171
Guthrie2115
Kossuth2090
Chickasaw2030
Grundy2002
Madison1992
Sac1980
Cherokee1792
Howard1795
Iowa1791
Fayette1781
Mitchell1750
Hancock1712
Harrison1692
Humboldt1693
Calhoun1672
Mills1621
Palo Alto1560
Pocahontas1502
Monroe14410
Page1410
Lucas1386
Jefferson1321
Cass1282
Monona1281
Osceola1210
Appanoose1193
Taylor1191
Union1193
Davis1134
Van Buren1081
Worth1000
Keokuk891
Montgomery855
Ida840
Greene820
Fremont790
Wayne792
Adair621
Decatur580
Audubon551
Ringgold412
Adams270
Unassigned150
Rochester
Few Clouds
56° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 56°
Mason City
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 56°
Albert Lea
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Charles City
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Warmer Weather Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

What are the benefits of bringing football back to Minnesota this fall?

Image

Candlelight vigil for Prisoners of War

Image

MC Masters National Championship Regatta

Image

Early voting begins in Minnesota

Image

Dooley's Pub closes due to health hazards

Image

Area athletic directors prep to welcome back sports

Image

Early voting begins in Minnesota

Image

TikTok Ban to Begin This Weekend

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Friday

Community Events