"The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook began its south-bound transit of the Bosphorus Strait, en route to the Mediterranean Sea Jan. 28 after conducting maritime security operations and enhancing regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea," the Navy's 6th Fleet said.
While in the Black Sea region, the US warship paid a visit to the Georgian port of Batumi and conducted a maritime exercise with Georgia's Coast Guard.
"Our port visit and operations with the Georgian coast guard provided a tremendous opportunity to enhance our overall operability," the warship's Commander Matthew Powel said in the release. "Visits like these are beneficial for both the US and our allies and partners in the region, and we look forward to returning."
Russia's national defense control center on January 19 said the Black Sea Fleet was carefully monitoring the movements of the US missile destroyer. It added that the vessel entered the area through the Turkish-controlled Dardanelles Strait under the 1936 Montreux Convention, which forbids naval warships from non-Black Sea states from staying in the body of water for more than 21 days.