The United States is preparing to sail a warship into the Black Sea following recent regional tensions after Russia seized three Ukranian ships, CNN reported Wednesday.
According to the report, the U.S. military asked the State Department to notify Turkey it might sail a warship through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.
CNN's sources said the U.S. military has notified Turkey of the possible actvity in order to comply with the 1936 Montreux Convention, which calls for countries without a coastline on the Black Sea to provide Turkey with prior notice.
2018 was a relatively light year for US navy deployments to the Black Sea, with only 6 warship visits compared to 13 in 2014, according to Yörük Işik, an International relations expert and naval enthusiast who runs the social media project Bosphorus Observer.
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Last week, the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews off the Crimean Peninsula, territory that Russia annexed from Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko responded by introducing martial law for 30 days across much of the country. Ukrainian authorities barred entry to all Russian males aged 16 to 60 in a move the Ukrainian leader said was needed to prevent Russia from further destabilizing the country.
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Russia's Defense Ministry claimed it has deployed laser weapons, including the Peresvet laser, which while most of its capabilities remain secret is believe by military experts to be capable of disrupting "drones, missiles and aircraft."
Russia's General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said that Russia will retaliate against U.S. allies hosting U.S. missiles in the case of confrontation - including with the use of new laser technology.
The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a 1987 nuclear arms control treaty, saying it would be forced to start a six-month process of withdrawal if nothing changed.