Earlier in the day, Boudewijn Boots, the commander of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), confirmed that a group of vessels had been deployed to the region in order to participate in the Sea Shield exercise with Georgian and Ukrainian forces.
“The forces of the Black Sea took under escort a group of NATO vessels, consisting of three frigates from the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain that have entered the Black Sea”, the Russian National Defence Control Centre said.
NATO'ya bağlı 3 savaş gemisi İstanbul Boğazından peş peşe geçiş yaptı. Boğaz geçişini tamamlayan gemiler Karadeniz'e açıldı. Gemilerin geçişine sahil güvenlik botları da eşlik etti. pic.twitter.com/gujkqnSquf
— Demirören Haber Ajansı (@dhainternet) March 28, 2019
According to the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, the frigates, engaged in the drills are the Netherlands’ HNLMS Evertsen, Spain’s ESPS Santa Maria, Canada’s HMCS Toronto, Bulgaria’s BGS Drazki, Turkey’s TCG Yildirim, and Romania’s ROS Regele Ferdinand.
Earlier this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the organisation was considering the possibility of providing additional support to Ukraine, as well as expanding its presence in the Black Sea.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that the military buildup of the alliance near Russia’s state borders could boost the potential risks of provoking a military confrontation.Brexit deadline: Promises of Heaven or Hell replaced by Endless Limbo