Russian Navy to track US missile destroyer movements in Black Sea

Note: image unverified

February 19, 2019 (TASS) – Russian Black Sea Fleet ships, including the missile corvette Orekhovo-Zuyevo and the reconnaissance ship Ivan Khurs are continuously tracking the US guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook that has sailed into the Black Sea, the National Defense Management Center reported on Tuesday.

It said the Donald Cook entered the Black Sea “at 17:00 Moscow time on February 19, 2019”. “The assigned means of the Black Sea Fleet have organized continuous tracking of the US missile destroyer. The direct control over its movements is carried out by the missile corvette Orekhovo-Zuevo and the reconnaissance ship Ivan Khurs,” the report said.

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DARDANELLES STRAIT (Feb. 19, 2019) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) transits the Dardanelles Strait, Feb. 19, 2019. Donald Cook, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its eighth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams/Released)

The US guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook began its transit of the Dardanelles Strait en route to the Black Sea, the press office of the US 6th Fleet reported on Tuesday.

“The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook began its north-bound transit of the Dardanelles Strait, en route to the Black Sea Feb. 19, 2019, to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region,” the press office said.

The US 6th Fleet’s press office did not disclose, however, the area towards which the guided missile destroyer was sailing. At the same time, the press office said the warship had already performed certain missions in the Black Sea a month ago. It visited Batumi, Georgia, and conducted an exercise with two Georgian Coast Guard ships. On January 28, the destroyer left the Black Sea.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s guard ship Pytlivy tracked the US vessel’s movements at the time.

In line with provisions of the Montreux Convention, the US missile destroyer cannot stay in the Black Sea longer than 21 days.