Photo: File/VIKTOR DRACHEV / AFP / Getty Images
Six Russian warships are heading to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean to carry out naval exercises, the Interfax news agency said on Tuesday after citing the Russian Defense Ministry, in a new deployment it mentioned as an action planned to be part of maneuvers. , according to the Voice of America, in a military deployment that indicates what is really going on in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia announced last month that its navy would host a series of exercises involving all of its fleets in January and February, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, in the latest show of force against Western countries for their influence over Ukraine.
Three of the ships passed through the Turkish Strait into the Black Sea on Tuesday, a witness told Reuters. Turkish sources said the other three vessels are expected to pass through on Wednesday.
The ships include the Korolev, the Minsk and the Kaliningrad, which sailed through the Bosphorus on Tuesday, while the Pyotr Morgunov, the Georgy Pobedonosets and the Olenegorsky Gornyak will sail through the area on Wednesday.
Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border.
The Russian government denies any invasion plans but demands extensive security guarantees, including a promise not to deploy missiles near its borders, a reduction in NATO’s military infrastructure and a ban on Ukraine joining the alliance.
Meanwhile, the first batch of the 2,000 US Army soldiers newly deployed to Europe arrived in Germany and Poland on February 5, military officials said, as part of the US effort to bolster NATO’s eastern flank, while the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues with the presence of more Russian troops along the borders of Ukraine.
Legally, Turkey, a NATO member country, could close the strait to transit if Russia took military action against Ukraine.
“Turkey is authorized to close the strait to all foreign warships in time of war or when threatened by aggression. In addition, it is authorized to deny transit to merchant ships belonging to countries at war with Turkey,” said Yoruk Isik, political analyst and director of consultancy Bosphorus Observer.
Turkey, which shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has said any military conflict would be unacceptable and warned Moscow that an invasion would be unwise.
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