In news- Russia has accused Britain of spreading lies over a warship confrontation in the Black Sea.
- Russia has warned the UK of further provocative actions by the British Navy off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea.
- Russia seized and annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and considers areas around its coast to be Russian waters.
- However, Western countries deem the Crimea to be part of Ukraine and reject Russia’s claim to the seas around it.
- Hence Britain has said that HMS Defender, the Royal Navy ship, was conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters.
- Under international law of the sea, innocent passage permits a vessel to pass through another state’s territorial waters so long as this does not affect its security.
About Black Sea-
- The Black Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia.
- It lies east of the Balkans (Southeast Europe), south of the East European Plain in Eastern Europe, west of the Caucasus, and north of Anatolia in Western Asia.
- It is supplied by major rivers, principally the Danube, Dnieper, Don, Dniester and Kuban.
- Basin countries are Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine.
- Important cities along the coast include Istanbul, Odessa, Varna, Samsun, Sochi, Sevastopol, Constanța, Trabzon, Novorossiysk, Burgas, Batumi.
- Denser, more saline water from the Aegean flows into the Black Sea underneath the less dense, fresher outflowing water from the Black Sea.
- This creates a significant and permanent layer of deep water that does not drain or mix and is therefore anoxic and is responsible for the preservation of ancient shipwrecks which have been found in the Black Sea.
- The Black Sea ultimately drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea.
- The Bosporus Strait connects it to the small Sea of Marmara which in turn is connected to the Aegean Sea via the Strait of the Dardanelles.
- To the north, the Black Sea is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Kerch Strait.