An American guided missile destroyer and a French surveillance ship entered the Black Sea on Sunday, according to a Turkish ship spotting website.
USS Laboon (DDG-58) and Dupuy de Lôme (A759) passed through the Bosporus Strait as part of ongoing U.S. and NATO presence missions in the Black Sea following Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March of 2014.
“Laboon’s presence in the Black Sea will serve to reaffirm the U.S. dedication and commitment toward strengthening the partnerships and joint operational capabilities amongst U.S., NATO and regional Baltic Sea partners,” read a Saturday statement from U.S. 6th Fleet.
The 3,600-ton Dupuy de Lôme was a frequent visitor to the Black Sea last year as tensions between the West and Russia increased following the forced annexation of Crimea.
The Sunday entrance was the first time the signals intelligence (SIGINT) ship has entered the Black Sea in 2015.
The entrance of the two NATO ships into the Black Sea follows an eventful and brief visit from USS Ross (DDG-71). While the ship was exercising with Romanian and Ukrainian ships, local Russian media claimed Ross violated Russian territorial waters — a claim the U.S. denied.
The Spain-based Ross left the Black Sea earlier in June.
All warship from countries without a coast on the Black Sea operate under the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.
Montreux rules call for foreign warships to depart the Black Sea after 21 days