Officials at the Russian and Ukrainian defense ministries say Chinese naval vessels have entered the Black Sea for the first time ever.
The "Qingdao" destroyer, armed with guided missiles, and the "Yantai" patrol boat, captained by the deputy commander of China's northern fleet, entered the sea on July 31 at Ukraine's invitation.
The two Chinese ships have previously taken part in international operations against pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
Officials said the "Yantai" was expected to sail to the Romanian port of Constanta before leaving the Black Sea on August 9, while the "Qingdao" was expected to stay in Ukraine's Crimean port of Sevastopol until August 4.
In accordance with the Montreux Convention
, the vessels of non-Black Sea countries can remain in Black Sea for up to 21 days.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax