One more US Navy vessel, landing ship USS Fort McHenry, has arrived @ the Black Sea where tensions are running high after three Ukrainian warships violated Russian territorial waters in late November and were arrested.
Florida-based Fort McHenry is on a regularly scheduled deployment with the US 6th Fleet to conduct operations with allies and partners to advance US security and in Europe.
Six other American military vessels also carried out missions in the Black Sea in 2018, including guided-missile destroyers USS Ross, USS Carney and USS Porter as well as command ship USS Mount Whitney, dock landing ship USS Oak Hill and expeditionary fast transport USNS Carson City.
Waters remain turbulent in the Black Sea after three Ukrainian ships violated the Russian maritime border in the Kerch Strait, between Crimea and mainland Russia, on November 25. The provocation by Kiev led to a lengthy naval chase and culminated in Russian coastguards using force to stop the perpetrators.
The incident, which occurred in the area that used to be Russian territorial waters even before its reunification with Crimea in 2014, was branded an “aggression” in Washington and saw a much-anticipated summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin canceled.
Moscow has repeatedly said it has no objections to Ukrainian warships traveling between the Black and Azov Seas through the Kerch Strait, but insists that it should be done in accordance with the agreed procedure when Kiev informs the Russian side of its navigation plans in advance.
Russia also considers the presence of the USA and NATO ships in the Black Sea as only serving to increase tensions and put Europe at risk of a military conflict.
Invading Russia would become a military nightmare according to a Swedish news paper. One might remember that previously Napoleon’s and Hitler’s armies also lost their bloody battles invading Russian territory.
A deputy minister in Kiev suggested that the British Navy should send its warships to the Sea of Azov to test Russia’s response. Moscow described the idea as ‘bonkers’.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Military News 2019.