The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook is scheduled to enter the Black Sea later in the day “to maintain peace and stability in the region,” US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement issued on Friday.
“The ship’s operations in the Black Sea are meant to enhance maritime security and stability, readiness, and naval capability with our allies and partners,” according to the statement.It was mentioned in the statement that the purpose of the vessel entering the Black Sea is to demonstrate US commitment “to the collective security of our NATO allies and support for our partners in Europe” as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The operation, which forms part of a series of US and NATO troop deployments and exercises in the region, which began in April 2014, seeks to “deter Russia from regional hegemony,” according to the US European Command.
NATO has been reinforcing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014.
Russia maintains that NATO expansion close to its western frontier is a threat to regional security.