United Kingdom could send warships to Black Sea to protect Ukrainian civilian ships

According to information published by Deutsch Welle on May 24, 2022, the United Kingdom plans to send warships to the Black Sea to escort civilian ships exporting Ukrainian grain.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal Navy's HMS Defender in the Black Sea (Picture source: Russia Novosti)

On June 23, 2021, the United Kingdom's HMS Defender had undertaken freedom of navigation patrol through the disputed waters around the Crimean Peninsula.

It was a diplomatic incident (known as "the 2021 Black Sea incident") between Russia and the United Kingdom involving the British destroyer HMS Defender while it transited from Odessa, Ukraine, to Batumi, Georgia.

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and border guards said they fired warning shots from coast guard patrol ships and dropped bombs from a Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft in the path of Defender after, according to the Russian Defence Ministry, it had allegedly strayed for about 20 minutes as far as 3 km (2 miles) into waters off the coast of Crimea.

Montreux Convention

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Ukrainian government appealed to Turkey to exercise its authority under the Montreux Convention to limit the transit of Russian warships from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced on 27 February that his government would legally recognize the Russian invasion as a "war", which provides grounds for implementing the Convention with respect to military vessels.

This blockage of naval vessels also applies to NATO powers who cannot now move their vessels from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.