Two US Destroyers Enter Black Sea; Russia Responds

The deployment of the two US Navy ships, along with a refueling ship, is the largest American presence in the waterway in three years.

By   PAUL MCLEARYon January 28, 2021 at 2:44 PM

USS Donald Cook and a Navy P-8 surveillance plane

WASHINGTON: For the first time in three years the Navy has sent three ships – including two destroyers – into the Black Sea, just days after President Biden confronted Vladimir Putin about Russian policy.

The move is sure to be read by Moscow as a statement of intent as the United States looks to confront Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, attempts to assassinate political rivals and reformers at home, and continuing acts of violence against Russians in NATO countries, as well as the persistent threats Vladimir Putin’s regime has made against NATO countries.

The USS Porter entered the Black Sea this morning, less than a week after USS Donald Cook and the replenishment oiler USNS Laramie entered the waterway to start running through a series of exercises with NATO allies. Russia reacted promptly, moving a Bastion missile defense system into position in Crimea and making a show by running virtual drills, according to Russian state media.

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