US Navy Arleigh Burke class controlled missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, part of the US 6th Navy, transits the Bosphorus Strait along the way to the Black Sea in Istanbul, Turkey on January 1
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Visits to the Black Sea by US warships have nothing to do with US security and are motivated by domestic policy, prominent Russian senator Alexei Pushkov said Sunday and warning they should stay away from it Russian coast.
The US-led missile destroyer Donald Cook began moving toward the Black Sea on Saturday, "to conduct maritime security operations and improve regional maritime stability, combined readiness and fleet capacity," said a US navy statement. www.navy.mil/index.asp
The Russian Black Navy began monitoring the warship when it entered the region, quoting the RIA news agency Russia's National Defense Control Center as on Saturday.
"U.S. warships become frequent visitors to the Black Sea. These visits have nothing to do with US security, "wrote Pushkov, a member of Russia's top information policy house commission on his Twitter page.
" They flag their flag, send us a signal, and appeal to their own senators who demand that they send a whole military fleet to the Black Sea. They were supposed to stay away from our coast, "he wrote.
This week, a three-month court in Russia extended the arrest of 24 Ukrainian sailors caught with their ships in November in the Kerch Strait connecting the Black Sea to the Azov Sea. They are accused of illegally crossing into Russian territory.
The United States and the European Union have called on Russia to release the men, but the Kremlin has said that they should be brought to court. No trial date has been set.  According to the Montreux International Convention, the US warship may be in the Black Sea for a maximum of 21 days, and the RIA quoted the Russian Defense Control Center as said.
"Our arrival at the Black Sea will highlight the fleet's interoperability in the pursuit of common security targets that allow For us to respond effectively to future crises or to deter aggression, "said Matthew Cook commander Matthew J. Powel in a statement.
Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing Dale Hudson