Tensions heat up in Black Sea
Although quick to make clear that Russia's response would be calm and measured, he questioned the use of warships to deliver humanitarian aid. About half a dozen NATO ships are presently in the area and the US has ordered the USS Mount Whitney, a Blue Ridge class command ship and the flagship of the United States navy's 6th Fleet into the Black Sea.
Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Russia's deputy chief of the general staff, said that about 18 NATO vessels will be present in the Black Sea soon.
The Montreux Convention limits international traffic through Turkey's Bosporus and Dardanelles straits for countries that do not border the Black Sea. Istanbul refused to allow two US hospital ships passage through its straits because the country had passed its tonnage limit.
Russia did not specify what response it would make to the increased NATO naval presence, but it was reported that Moscow dispatched vessels to track the newly-arrived ships.
ABC NewsRussian warning on Nato warships
Scotsman, United Kingdom - Aug 28, 2008
Four warships of Nato member Turkey are also in the Black Sea. Mr Putin's spokesman said: "The appearance of Nato battleships here in the Black Sea basin ...
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