Russia monitors US ship in the Black Sea


While on patrol, the USS Ross will engage with NATO Allies and partners "to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening ties, and to promote peace and stability in the region”. Photo: Border Police of Georgia/Facebook, 24 Apr 2019 - 00:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

Two Russian military ships have been tracking the United States Ship Ross that entered the Black Sea over a week ago.

USS Ross, which aims “to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners” is visiting Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi on April 21-25.

Russian news agency TASS reported earlier that Russian Navy Vasily Bykov-class patrol vessel and Russian Navy reconnaissance ship Ivan Khurs were monitoring USS Ross' movements in the Black Sea.

Citing the Russian National Defence Management Centre, TASS said "upon entering the Black Sea, the US navy ship was placed under constant monitoring involving the fleet’s coastal surveillance facilities."

 Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, US Ambassador Ross Wilson and Head of Georgia’s Border Police Temur Kekelidze attended a reception at the USS Ross on April 23. Photo: Border Police of Georgia/Facebook

The Head of Georgia’s Border Police Temur Kekelidze said this is not the first case when Russia tracks ships in the Black Sea. However, he said the Russian ships have not entered territorial waters controlled by Georgia.  

US Charge d’Affairs, Ambassador Ross Wilson also noted that “its fairly standard practice for the Russian navy to shadow, or follow or track the activities of American and other allied military naval deployments into the Black Sea”.

We are exercising our rights, under international law, to carry out operations here. We believe those operations are important for our ability to work with our friends and partners, including in Georgia. We expect other countries to accept that", Ross Wilson said.

Wilson stressed that these visits are intended to showcase United States' partnership in this region, to bolster security, stability and peace in the region, and in particular, to show strong support for Georgia and for its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.