The French Navy's rescue vessel Alize has entered the Black Sea, a Russian Black Sea Fleet spokesman told Interfax-AVN on Thursday.
"This specialized vessel intended to provide diving support left the straight zone on Wednesday," he said.
"It is heading to the Bulgarian port of Varna, where it will take part in joint sea rescue exercises," the spokesman said.
According to open sources, the vessel Alize, which joined the French Navy in 2005, carries equipment intended for the most complicated types of diving operations.
It can also be used as a base for combat diver teams.
The Alize is 60 meters long, has a water displacement of 1,500 tonnes, is operated by an 18-member crew, and, according to different reports, can carry from 30 to 230 passengers.
The vessel is equipped with two 12.7-millimeter submachine guns and an NH90 helicopter.