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Is the U.S. Getting Ready To Tear Up the Montreux Convention?

Dec. 14, 2016 (EIRNS)—Vice Adm. James Foggo, director of the U.S. Navy staff, told Sputnik last week that the Navy is considering extended patrols of up to four months in the Black Sea. The 1936 Montreux Convention, to which all the countries that border the Black Sea are party, limits foreign navy presence to 21 days at a time and total aggregate tonnage of non-Black Sea naval vessels to 30,000 tons.

"The negative impact of this decision is hard to miss, as most Europeans believe that America has done a poor job as a world leader since the 1991 Soviet breakup,"

says Sputnik. Sputnik also notes that both the United States and NATO have been seeking to expand their presence in the Black Sea following the 2014 reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation, an move that NATO views as a violation of international law.

Moscow has reacted to this possibility rather sharply.

"We are firmly committed to the inadmissibility of any violations of the Montreux Convention," Russian Foreign Minister Segei Lavrov said on Dec. 12. "We have Turkey’s assurances that the convention will be complied with." He further urged the U.S. not to erode the convention.

Lavrov also addressed plans for NATO-Ukraine joint patrols of the Black Sea, reports the Kyiv Post.

"The idea of Ukraine, as well as of our Romanian Black Sea neighbors, of creating here a permanent NATO group, we see it as being provocative,"

he said.

"We are convinced that all decisions regarding the Black Sea must be made by the littoral states, especially when it comes to providing security."

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