U.S. withdraws plans to send warships through Bosporus on April 14-15

The United States will not send two warships through Turkey’s Bosporus straits to the Black Sea as planned on April 14-15, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

U.S. officials informed Turkey verbally about the cancellation, Çavuşoğlu said in a televised interview with the NTV news channel. "We still haven't got written confirmation," he said.

Last Thursday, a Pentagon official told CNN that the deployment of the warships would signal to Russia that the United States was watching increased Russian military presence on Ukraine’s southern border on the Black Sea.

The United States Navy had planned to deploy the warships to the Black Sea via the Bosporus and Dardanelles separately on April. 14 and April. 15, according to a formal notice sent to the Turkish authorities. They would have remained there until May. 4 and May. 5.

The U.S authorities sent the notice 15 days in advance, as per the Montreux Convention regarding the two straits, which lie in Turkish territorial waters.

Çavuşoğlu said the 15-day notice period would now apply again.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko expressed concern for increased activity by states that don’t have borders to the Black Sea.

The 1936 Montreux Convention limits the time vessels belonging to non-Black Sea states can remain in the waters to 21 days, as well as the type and number of vessels that can pass through the Bosporus and Dardanelles at times of both peace and war. 

(This story was updated with foreign minister's comments in the second and sixth paragraphs.)