16:48 GMT +325 March 2019
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    USS Donald Cook

    US Destroyer Caught Between Two Russian Warships Off Turkey (PHOTOS)

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    Earlier, the Russian Black Sea Fleet promised to keep a close eye on the USS Donald Cook as it made its way into the waterway last week for a visit to the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

    The Tomahawk-capable USS Donald Cook destroyer was caught between two Russian warships shadowing it near the Dardanelles Strait, a military diplomatic source told Russian media on Friday.

    The US vessel was said to have left the Strait at about 8 am local time, followed about ten minutes later by Russia's Admiral Essen, a Kalibr-capable frigate normally based in Sevastopol. At the same time, the USS Donald Cook reportedly maneuvered to avoid a collision course with Russia's Admiral Makarov frigate, en route to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean Sea, where it had engaged in military drills off the Syrian coast in January.

    Social media users monitored the ships' passage through the narrow strait, posting photos of the close encounter.

    The USS Donald Cook entered the Black Sea on February 19, heading for Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa for a port visit. Russian media earlier reported that a Buyan-class corvette and a Yuri Ivanov-class intelligence ship were charged with monitoring the US destroyer's activities.  The visit was USS Donald Cook's second entry into the Black Sea this year. In January, the ship visited the Georgian port of Batumi.

    In accordance with the 1936 Montreux Convention regulating the Black Sea naval traffic, warships from non-Black Sea powers are forbidden from staying in the body of water for a period of more than 21 days.

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    Tags:
    maneuvers, Admiral Makarov frigate, Admiral Essen, USS Donald Cook, Russian Black Sea Fleet, US Navy, Dardanelles, Russia, United States
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