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USS Vella Gulf to enter Black Sea on May 9 — source

May 07, 2014, 15:04 UTC+3

“NATO forces continue to groundlessly build up tension in the Black Sea,” the source said

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© AP Photo/Richard Drew

MOSCOW, May 07. /ITAR-TASS/. American Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf is expected to enter the Black Sea on May 9, a military diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS.

“NATO forces continue to groundlessly build up tension in the Black Sea,” the source added. “Security in the Black Sea is a prerogative of naval forces of Black Sea littoral states which have established close cooperation a long time ago,” he noted.

The US warship USS Donald Cook with the Aegis missile defense system onboard left the Black Sea on Arpil 25, a Russian Defense Ministry source told ITAR-TASS.

USS Donald Cook passed through the straits and entered the Aegean Sea, the source said.

Two NATO warships remain in the Black Sea. French ship Dupuy de Lome and USS Taylor entered the sea on April 10 and April 22, respectively.

The US frigate is in the western part of the sea near the Romanian port of Constanta, and the French ship is in the Georgian port of Batumi.

The French destroyer Dupleix, earlier planned to enter the Black Sea on April 26-27, was not expected to arrive there at the time, the official said.

USS Taylor previously remained in the sea from February 5 to March 9, eleven days longer than the maximum period of 21 days set by the Montreux convention for presence of warships from other regions in the Black Sea. The overstay was officially explained by propeller repair.

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