US show of force sends Russia a message in Black Sea
11:10, Tuesday, 20 February, 2018
The US Navy is ramping up its presence in the Black Sea as part of a bid to counter Russia's increased presence there, a US military official tells CNN. It's a region that has become increasingly fraught with tensions as Russia has reinforced its military forces in the area following its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move rejected by the vast majority of the international community. On Saturday the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney joined the USS Ross in the Black Sea to "conduct maritime security operations," according to a statement from the US Navy's 6th Fleet, which oversees US naval operations in the region. It's the first time two US Navy warships have been in the Black Sea since July 2017."Our decision to have two ships simultaneously operate in the Black Sea is proactive, not reactive," US Navy Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, the commander of 6th Fleet, said in a release announcing the Carney's arrival.On Sunday Russia announced its own naval deployments to the area, with the Russian Ministry of Defense issuing a statement saying that a Russian frigate, the Admiral Essen, and two patrol ships had entered the Black Sea for a series of exercises.