19 Feb 2019 16:03

Ships of Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two arrive in Black Sea

MOSCOW. Feb 19 (Interfax) - The German Navy's Werra replenishment ship and the Turkish Navy's Akcakoca minesweeper assigned to the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2) have arrived at the Black Sea, an informed source told Interfax.

The Werra is the flagship of the group, which also includes Romanian and Bulgarian minesweepers.

According to the German Defense Ministry, the replenishment ship will visit the Bulgarian ports of Burgas and Varna. The voyage was planned some time ago, it said.

Naval ships of the United States and other NATO countries have been regularly visiting the Black Sea since the beginning of the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The Montreux Convention of 1936 allows military ships of non-Black Sea countries to visit the Black Sea waters for up to 21 days.

The U.S. missile destroyer the USS Donald Cook visited the Black Sea in January. According to the Russian National Defense Control Center, it was monitored by forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.