British reconnaissance ship HMS Echo has entered the Black Sea. Aaccording to photos released online, HMS Echo transited the Bosporus on December 18.
This was the first time when a British ship visited the Black Sea since an incident between a Ukrainian naval group and Rusisan coastal guards in the Black Sea, near the Kerch Strait on November 25. It’s interesting to note that by some reason a part of journalists writting about this situation believes that the standoff took place in the Sea of Azov. Most likely editors of some mainstream media outlets just failed to google the difference between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov thus spreading this mistake among the international audience.
.@RoyalNavy returns to BlackSea for the first time since the Sea of Azov crisis: Devonport based, Echo class multirole hydrographic & oceanographic survey vessel @HMS_Echo transited Bosphorus. The survey suit consists of EM710MBES, EA600 single beam echo-sounder, towed side sonar pic.twitter.com/0ASjn1Neck
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) December 17, 2018
HMS Echo is a multi-role hydrographic survey ship of the Royal Navy. She’s designed to conduct survey operations in support of submarines or amphibious operations and is capable of embarking a dedicated mine counter measures command team.
This move as well as the recent increase of US intelligence gathering operations in the region are a part of the wider US-NATO preparations for a possible conflict in the region.
Considering the recent signals of the Euro-Atlantic establishment to the Ukrainian regime, it becomes highly likely that a new round of military escalation may start in the region in the nearest future.