MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - United States Navy destroyer USS Ross has entered Black Sea, according to the statement in US Navy 6th Fleet official command account on Twitter.
“USS Ross enters Black Sea, promoting peace and stability while working with NATO allies and partners,” the statement says.
According to the official US Navy website, “Ross’ presence in the Black Sea serves to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to strengthening the collective security of NATO allies and partners in the region.”
“The US Navy maintains an enduring commitment to forward-presence throughout the region in order to have ready-forces available if a crisis were to occur,” the statement reads.
This is not the first US warship which entered the Black Sea in the last few months.
The missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, the USS Truxton, the USS Taylor and several other NATO warships have been deployed to the Black Sea as the Ukrainian crisis escalated.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the duration of deployment of US warships in the Black is regulated by the terms laid out in an international convention governing the presence of naval vessels in the region.
According to the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, warships of countries that do not have access to the Black Sea, may stay in the area for no more than 21 days. They also face significant restrictions on class and tonnage. Turkey is a guarantor of the principles of the Convention.
Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, NATO has been boosting its military presence close to Russia’s border. In particular, dispatching a number of warships to the Black Sea and reinforcing air patrolling missions in Baltic airspace.
The group of NATO ships in the Black Sea reached a record number of nine vessels in July, the most significant presence in recent decades. The group included the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) cruiser, France’s Surcouf frigate, Greece’s Macitis corvette and Italy’s Elettra intelligence vessel, among others.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the increasing NATO military presence close to its borders.