20:08 GMT05 June 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The first US warship to deploy to the Black Sea in 2020, the Ross, arrived in the Bulgarian port of Varna to reinforce NATO's continuous presence in the contested waterway, the Navy announced in a press release on Thursday.

    "Ross is the first US naval vessel to conduct operations in the Black Sea in 2020, following a visit in December 2019 earlier on her 9th patrol. The ship entered the Black Sea on February 23rd, 2020 to strengthen relationships with NATO allies and partners through joint exercises and to demonstrate the shared dedication to Black Sea security", the release said.

    The Navy said the ship's operations in the Black Sea will strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve.

    The Ross, an Arliegh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that is forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.

    Russia deployed warships from its Black Sea fleet to monitor the Ross as soon as the destroyer entered the contested waterway and began heading north to Bulgaria, Sputnik reported earlier.

    cooperation, missile, warship, navy, defense, Bulgaria, United States
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