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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Black Sea News

Meeting Addresses Black Sea Ship Pollution

Photo: IMO

The Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution – an International Maritime Organization (IMO) observer and implementing partner for capacity-building activities in the Black Sea – held its 31st Regular Meeting of Commissioners in Istanbul, Turkey, October 8. The IMO and the Black Sea Commission collaboration has encompassed various workshops and training courses at both national and regional levels to develop capacity for the implementation of several IMO instruments aimed at protecting the marine environment from adverse effects of shipping.

Russian Sub 'Stary Oskol' Enters Black Sea

Photo: Russian Navy

Russia’s Stary Oskol submarine, the third boat in Project 636.3 series for the Black Sea Fleet, on a voyage to its permanent base has passed the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, TASS quoted the Black Sea Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachev as saying. Stary Oskol is the third submarine in the series of six submarines built for the Black Sea Fleet at the Admiralty Verfi Shipyards in St. Petersburg. The Russian Black Sea Fleet currently operates four Project 636.3 submarines. The fleet is to receive a total of six submarines of this project.

CMA CGM Launches Direct Service to Black Sea

Map: CMA CGM

In line with its strategy for the development of short lines in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the CMA CGM Group has rolled out the Black Sea Med Express service, which connects the major countries around the Black Sea (Turkey, Romania and Ukraine) to Algeria and Morocco. The service will be CMA CGM's first to offer a weekly connection between the main ports of the Black Sea and Aegean Sea with the North of Morocco (Tangier and Casablanca) and Algeria (Annaba) in order to develop the activity between The Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea with short lines.

US Navy Helps Secure Olympic Games

USS Taylor (U.S. Navy photo: Marcus L. Stanley)

With the threat of terror at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the United States is prepped with vessels in the Black Sea. The U.S. Navy deployed two ships to the Black Sea to help protect against the threat of terror attacks surrounding the Games. According to a Navy release, the U.S. 6th Fleet flag ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), with 300 Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners onboard, arrived in the Black Sea Feb. 4 to conduct maritime security operations, and USS Taylor (FFG 50), with a crew of approximately 200 Sailors, arrived in the Black Sea Feb.

Bulgaria Will Not Join Any NATO Black Sea Fleet After Russian Warning

Bulgaria's prime minister said on Thursday he would not join a proposed NATO fleet meant to counter Russian forces in the Black Sea as he did not want a war there, a day after Moscow warned against any build-up. Boiko Borisov said he did not want to see frigates sailing past the tourist resorts, at a joint press conference with President Rosen Plevneliev who described Bulgaria as a peaceful country. Tensions between Russia and the alliance have risen, particularly since the Ukraine crisis and Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in November. Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, has its own Black Sea Fleet based at Sevastopol.

Euronext Says Working on Black Sea Wheat Futures

The rising influence of Black Sea markets on world prices prompted Euronext to start working on developing futures contract that would allow price hedging in one of the world's largest export zones for the grain, it said on Friday. Production swings in the Black Sea and European Union have become the main drivers of world wheat prices to the detriment of Chicago futures as U.S. farmers increasingly turned to corn and soybean crops, analysts and traders said. "Having assessed the long-standing need for a proper price-setting mechanism in that production zone, we are now engaged in a serious reflection about a careful design," Euronext head of commodities Olivier Raevel told Reuters at the Cereals Europe conference in Geneva.

Russia Vows to Ensure Security of Ukraine-based Naval Fleet

Reuters - Russia is taking measures to ensure security of the facilities and arms at its Black Sea Naval Fleet based on the Crimean coast in southern Ukraine, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday. "We are carefully watching what is happening in Crimea, what is happening around the Black Sea Fleet," Russian state news agency RIA reported Shoigu as saying. "We are taking measures to guarantee the safety of facilities, infrastructure and arsenals of the Black Sea Fleet." He gave no specific details

USS Cole (DDG 67) to Enter Black Sea Today

Cole (DDG 67) approaches the outer harbor breakwater as the ship departs Constanta, Romania. Cole, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. natio

USS Cole (DDG 67) will enter the Black Sea, Feb. 8, 2015, to promote peace and stability in the region. Cole’s presence in the Black Sea will serve to reaffirm the U.S. dedication to commitment towards strengthening the partnerships and joint operational capabilities amongst U.S., NATO and regional Black Sea partners. “The United States remains fully committed to our NATO Allies and regional partners throughout Europe. We maintain our ships and submarines deployed across the Mediterranean, north Atlantic and into the Black Sea.

US Says It Will Stay in Black Sea despite Russian Warning

USS Mason (DDG 87) (U.S. Navy photo by Casey J. Hopkins)

The United States will maintain its presence in the Black Sea despite a Russian warning that a U.S. destroyer patrolling there undermined regional security, the U.S. Navy Secretary said. The USS Porter entered the Black Sea this month, drawing heavy criticism from Moscow. Turkey and Romania are expected to push for a bigger NATO presence in the Black Sea at the NATO summit in Warsaw next month. Aboard the USS Mason, another U.S. destroyer, in the Mediterranean on Thursday, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told Reuters that it was the U.S. Navy's job to deter aggression and keep sea lanes open.

Black Sea Shipping Owes $95M

Ukraine's Black Sea Shipping company has $95 million in foreign debts which the government aims to restructure and pay off by next year. The Black Sea shipping company ran into trouble after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. Many ships were impounded in foreign ports for unpaid bills. The company is raising money by selling off parts of the ageing fleet. It now owns about 130 ships whose average age is 20-22 years compared to over 200 vessels five years ago.

USS Ross Conducts PASSEX in Black Sea

USS Ross (DDG 71) conduct anti-submarine warfare training and advanced ship maneuvering during a passing exercise with ships from Romania and Turkey while operating in the Black Sea Dec. 15, 2015.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) participated in a passing exercise (PASSEX) with ships from Turkey and Romania Dec. 15, 2015. The PASSEX was conducted in order to improve maritime capabilities between the U.S. and Black Sea naval forces. The participating nations joined in advanced ship maneuvering and anti-submarine training exercises. The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with international law. USS Ross (DDG 71)…

Romania: Another U.S. warship to come to Black Sea

Another U.S. warship will come to the Black Sea after destroyer USS Donald Cook will leave, Romanian president Traian Basescu told reporters in the Black Sea port of Constanta on Monday. Donald Cook arrived in the Black Sea last week for exercises and operations to improve interoperability, increase readiness and enhance relationships. A French vessel is also in Constanta to show support, Basescu said. Last month, a U.S. guided-missile destroyer conducted naval drills with Romania and Bulgaria in the Black Sea, in a show of Washington's military reach, in operations officials said were planned before Russia's annexation of Crimea. Reporting by Matthias Williams

Third NATO Warship Enters Black Sea

'Surcouf': Image Wikipedia CCL3

A French frigate has entered the Black Sea, growing the number of NATO surface warships in the region to three, according to a U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) news report citing a ship spotting blog and Russian press reports. Surcouf (F711), a La Fayette-class frigate was spotted by amateur photographers crossing the Bosporus strait on Wednesday joining French signals intelligence ship Dupuy de Lôme (A759) and U.S. guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) – both which entered the region earlier this month.

Russian Black Sea Fleet Voices Security Concern

Black Sea Fleet Sevastipol: Photo credit Rianovosti (Sergey Anashkevich)

The Staff of the Russian Black Sea Fleet said it faces information safety problems over plans to build a hotel in the immediate vicinity of its headquarters. The construction of a high-rise hotel building within 50 meters from the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol is due to begin this year. “The fleet’s command is seriously concerned over plans to build a hotel near our headquarters,” a Black Sea Fleet source said. “Wiretapping and jamming equipment and can easily be installed in the hotel building.

CMA CGM Extends Black Sea/North Europe Service

The CMA CGM Group announced the extension of its FEMEX service on the North Europe – Mediterranean trade. In order to improve the coverage of the North Europe – Mediterranean trade and coinciding with a growing existing demand, the CMA CGM Group extended its FEMEX service in the Black Sea with the addition of three new calls in Samsun (Turkey), Novorossiysk (Russia) and Constanta (Romania). The CMA CGM Group will become the only shipping line offering a direct coverage into the Black Sea region from / to North Europe.

Ukraine's Only Submarine on Sea Trials

The Soviet-era Foxtrot class (Project 641) diesel-electric submarine stood grounded at a dock in Sevastopol for years without repair and became a symbol of the demise of Ukraine’s navy. Russian engineers repaired and serviced the submarine and a crew of Ukrainian submariners was trained at Russian naval bases. “The sea trials of the Zaporozhye submarine is an important event for the Ukrainian navy,” Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin said. The trials will test the submarine’s power plant and other key equipment while sailing on surface. Though the submarine was built 40 years ago, the vessel has been upgraded with new equipment and will certainly raise the combat capability of the Ukrainian navy.

USS Mount Whitney Visits Varna

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) arrived in Varna, Bulgaria Nov. 8 to officially kick off the multinational Black Sea Partnership Cruise (BSPC), set to commence Nov. 10. Representatives from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the United States will come together to participate in the six-day, at-sea, interactive trainer, while Mount Whitney serves as the BSPC underway training platform.

Generaly Rate Restoration by CMA CGM

  In a continued effort to provide quality services, CMA CGM group hereby informs of a Rate Restoration Program: Effective February 5th, 2015: From India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka ports to North Europe, Med Sea, Scandinavia, Baltic, Black Sea, North Africa, Central American, Caribbean and South America: Dry and Reefer cargo: USD 400 per 20’ USD 600 per 40’ From India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka ports To the following ports: North Europe, Med Sea, Scandinavia, Baltic, Black Sea, North Africa, Central American, Caribbean and South America

Hapag-Lloyd: Better Service between Med, Black Sea

From mid-February, Hapag-Lloyd will introduce a new Black Sea Mediterranean Express (BMX) service. The new short sea service offers customers a weekly connection between ports in Egypt, Israel, Turkey and major Black Sea ports with competitive transit times. It will furthermore guarantee the connectivity of the Black Sea ports with Hapag-Lloyd’s comprehensive global liner service network – especially to and from North America, Latin America, Far East, Oceania and North Europe. Three ships with a nominal capacity of 1,700 TEU each and a high number of reefers plugs will be deployed in the BMX service. The first voyage will commence from Damietta on February 16.

ITF Names Black Sea 'Sea of Shame'

Black Sea Ports action: Photo ITF

The International Transport Federation (ITF) informs that its multinational week of action with maritime unions in ports around the Black Sea has brought results, and the Federation has challenged conditions for seafarers working on what it has called the "Sea of Shame". The ITF says the Black Sea remains one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a seafarer. The action by inspectors and union members in Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine came as the ITF published an updated version of its 2012 report, Black Sea of Shame.

6 NATO Ships Begin Joint Black Sea Exercise

Photo Courtesy: MARCOM Public Affairs Office

Six NATO warships, including Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian vessels, have arrived to the Black Sea to start joint training exercises. NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived today in the Black Sea to operate and train with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies, according to NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) press release. Marine Group Two is comprised of six ships — Vicksburg, Fredericton, Turgutreis, Spessart, Aliseo, and Regina Maria, according to MARCOM. The joint training, led by US Rear Adm.

U.S. Beefing up Black Sea Presence

The United States will strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region using part of a $1 billion fund promised to NATO allies on Russia's borders, and will continue to send warships to the area, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Romania on Thursday. Hagel is the latest high-ranking American official to visit Europe since Russia's annexation of Crimea, as Washington looks to reassure allies jittery about Moscow's intentions in its former Cold War backyard. The tour coincides with a visit by President Barack Obama to Poland this week, when he promised to increase military support for eastern European NATO members, including a $1 billion fund to support and train the armed forces of NATO states.

NATO Accelerates Military Buildup in Black Sea

Photo: NATO

The NATO buildup in the Black Sea is part of the alliance's strategy to expand its military presence along Russia's borders. The move would destabilize the situation in the region, says a report in Sputnik. Russian state media reported earlier this month that the USS Porter, a U.S. naval destroyer, had entered the Black Sea on a routine deployment, a move it said raised hackles in Moscow because it had recently been fitted with a new missile system. Under the Montreux Convention, countries which don't have a Black Sea coastline cannot keep their warships there for more than 21 days.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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