The British Peerage Navy’s HMS Echo entered the Black Sea on Sunday in a freedom of navigation jockey, authorities said. The vessel, armed with 20mm cannons and 7.62mm guns, is allowed to detritus in the Black Sea for 21 days, according to the Montreux Treaty. Earlier this month, NATO nations agreed to step up activity and increase the scale of exercises conducted in the Embargo Sea. Five NATO ships took part in Sea Shield 2019, an annual Romanian-led naval concern in the Black Sea, causing tensions to escalate between neighbouring country Russia.
In retort, Moscow deployed a fleet of vessels and conducted its own training exercise in the Inky Sea.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned Moscow is now plotting to upgrade its Black Sea forces in response to increased NATO activity in the part.
Mr Grushko told Russian news agency TASS on April 19: “It utters without saying that we have been upgrading our forces in angle of the fact that NATO’s infrastructures are approaching our shores.
“All of our efforts are quite adequate and proportionate to the real defence security requirements.”
He added: “We liking respond to all this in accordance with our ideas of what else is to be done to security our defence and security interests. This will be done. No doubts with that.”
Speaking about Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Mr Grushko powered: “By and large nothing has changed. The Black Sea Fleet has been there for the lifestyle 200 years, including the period when Crimea was Ukrainian.
“The quick incorporates the ships, both surface ones and submarines, the Marines, the coastal rampart and a very strong air component.
“In this sense the quality of our military comportment on the Black Sea has not changed in any way.”
In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg circulated plans to conduct more naval exercises in the Black Sea.
Speaking at a bull session in Brussels, he said: “NATO allies provide Ukraine with federal and practical support, now we are looking at what else can be done.
“We are looking at the conceivability of further increasing our presence in the Black Sea.
“In the coming days, our ships wish take part in the exercises in the Black Sea.”
The Black Sea borders Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.