May 21, 2014
The United States military confirmed on Tuesday that a guided missile
cruiser is en route to the Black Sea as worries persist about the
ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
“I can confirm the Vella Gulf, a Navy cruiser, will be going in to the Black Sea probably later this week,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told the press on Tuesday, AFP reported.
Earlier this week, RT reported that
a military source had told Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency that the US
Department of Defense was expected to deploy a ship towards the Black
Sea this week as part of what Moscow is considering a wide build-up of
NATO forces in the region. Now the Pentagon has confirmed that the Vella
Guld will replace the USS Taylor, a frigate that was stationed in the
Black Sea until May 12 and preceded by the presence of the USS Donald
An US-authorized treaty, the Montreux Conventions of 1936, bars
outside countries from keeping warships in the body of war for more than
21 days. Instead of retiring America’s naval presence from the region
altogether, though, the DOD is again exchanging one ship for another in
the midst of the growing tensions between Ukraine’s interim government
and those wanting a stronger alliance with neighboring Russia.
As RT reported previously, the Vella Gulf is 172 meters long, 16
meters wide and can carry two multipurpose helicopters. It is also
equipped with an Aegis air and ballistic missile defensive system,
Tomahawk cruise missiles, antisubmarine missiles and surface-to-air