The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that the USS Ross (DDG 71), a guided-missile destroyer, will arrive in the Black Sea on Saturday to promote peace and stability in the region. Less than a month ago, a similar Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was in the region for the same stated purpose.
The warship's deployment is part of the U.S. government’s plans to contribute toward the collective security of its NATO allies, the U.S. Navy said, adding that such moves would also help enhance maritime security, readiness and naval capability. The Black Sea is bordered on the north by Ukraine, and the Crimean peninsula, which was acquired by Russia last March. Russia lies to the west while Turkey is in the south, and Romania and Bulgaria are on its western shores.
“Ross's presence in the Black Sea will reaffirm the dedication and commitment of the United States toward strengthening the partnerships and joint operational capabilities amongst NATO and regional Black Sea partners,” according to a statement posted on the official website of the U.S. Navy.
The U.S. Navy operates its vessels in the Black Sea in keeping with the Montreux Convention and International Law, which dictates that “vessels of war belonging to non-Black Sea Powers shall not remain in the Black Sea more than twenty-one days, whatever be the object of their presence there,” Ria Novosti reported.
“We are committed to maintaining safety and security of the world's oceans and sea lanes. Through strengthened relationships in the Black Sea, we can expect an increase in peace and prosperity throughout the region,” Tadd Gorman, the commanding officer of the USS Ross (DDG 71), said in a statement.
In April, the USS Jason Dunham guided-missile destroyer was in the Black Sea and, in January, another American guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, reportedly participated in joint military drills with a Ukrainian navy ship.