14:09 GMT +3 hours30 July 2016
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NATO Reconnaissance Ships to Enter Black Sea Monday Night - Source

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French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lôme will enter the Black Sea Monday night to join Italian intelligence ship Elettra, a military diplomatic source told RIA Novosti Monday.

PARIS/MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) — French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lôme will enter the Black Sea Monday night to join Italian intelligence ship Elettra, a military diplomatic source told RIA Novosti Monday.

"Sunday morning, Italian intelligence ship Elettra passed through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and entered the Black Sea. This evening [Monday night], it will be joined by French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lôme," the source said.

Dupuy de Lôme will replace French stealth frigate Surcouf, which will leave the area on Tuesday. The intelligence vessel is designed for the monitoring of radar signals, as well as the intercepting of communications, including phone calls and e-mails.

The US guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf left the waters on June 12 after three weeks in the Black Sea.

A source at Russia's Defense Ministry earlier said that Russian Black Sea Fleet and naval aviation tracked all the movements of NATO ships in the Black Sea.

Under the Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits, ships belonging to countries that do not border the Black Sea are not allowed to stay in the area for more than 21 days.

The agreement was earlier breached by the frigate USS Taylor, which stayed at a Turkish port 11 days over its limit. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Turkey, a NATO member, had failed to inform Moscow about the violation.

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