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Source: Russian warship traced US cruiser in the Black Sea

Source: Russian warship traced US cruiser in the Black Sea 16.06.2011
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: Large ASW ship Kerch. bigpicture.ru
Black Sea Fleet (BSF) large ASW ship Kerch monitored activities of US warships in the Black Sea and is returning to homebase, reported a source in Russian defense ministry on June 16.

According to the source, "Russian large ASW ship Kerch had been tracing guided missile cruiser USS Anzio until she left the Black Sea on June 14. During this time USS Anzio visited Varna, Batumi, and Odessa ports".

"At present, another American warship USS Monterey is still deployed at the site of the Sea Breeze 2011 Ukrainian-American naval exercise, although Russian Foreign Ministry had expressed concern over presence of the Aegis-carrying ship next to Russian coast", pointed out the interviewee.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry, this indicates the US still ignores Russia's concerns and demonstratively shapes that missile defense configuration opposed by Moscow. US State Department neglected to react on this statement.

"All movements of that ship are also in the limelight of Russia's Black Sea Fleet", added the source.

He emphasized that actions of any non-regional warship in the Black Sea draw close attention of Russia and are subject to the Montreux Convention 1936 restricting presence of foreign warships in the Black Sea with a 21-day period, reports RIA Novosti.

Alexander Dikusarov, spokesman for Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated on June 15 that the Sea Breeze 2011 naval exercise with participation of Aegis-equipped USS Monterey posed no threat to regional countries.

Later on that day, representative of US State Department Mark Toner said that Russia was free to hold by own opinion as for presence of the American cruiser armed with ICBM interceptors in the Black Sea, since only Ukraine's stance was of importance.

That was the US State Department's reaction on the concern expressed by Russian Foreign Ministry on Sunday. Moscow warns it will interpret such steps as a threat to Russia's national security.

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