The U.S. Navy warships are expected to pass through the Bosphorus Strait next week and return May 4-5, Turkey's foreign ministry said.
U.S. Navy / Kaleb J. Sarten

(dpa) – The United States is sending two combat vessels to the Black Sea later this month, according to Turkey.

Turkey was informed 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that the battleships would travel through the Bosporus strait, a spokesperson of the Turkish Foreign Ministry told dpa on Friday.

The vessels are to cross the strait between April 14 and 15, and remain in the Black Sea until May 4, the spokesperson said.

John Kirby, spokesperson of the US Department of Defence, did not confirm the reports, but said that the US routinely sends battleships to the Black Sea.

It was not known whether the move was linked to renewed tensions in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Jen Psaki, spokesperson for US President Joe Biden, recently said that the US was concerned with the situation in Ukraine, where Russia has increased its military presence along the front to 2014 levels and five Ukrainian soldiers were killed this week alone.

Based on the Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the Bosporus and Daradanelles straits. While trade ships may pass the strait freely in peacetime, battleships face certain restrictions.

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