US Warship Given Passage through Turkish Black Sea Straits
A US warship was allowed on Wednesday to pass through the Turkey-controlled Black Sea straits.
The ship, which enters the Black Sea amid escalating tensions on the Crimean Peninsula, is expected to travel through the straits within the next few days, as Turkish newspaper Zaman has reported.
US officials have specified no reason why the ship is crossing the Straits.
No reports have so far shown a link between the maneuver and the standoff between Russia and Ukraine, which deepened after Moscow approved sending troops to Ukraine's autonomous region of Crimea, located to the north of the Black Sea.
Turkey has held exclusive rights to grant passage through the Straits since 1936, when the Montreux Convention stated that Ankara exerts control over warship traffic.
It also stipulated that warships from states without a Black Sea coast cannot stay in its waters more than 21 days.