U.S. ship Mount Whitney sails from Istanbul toward the Black Sea

The U.S. Navy’s flagship USS Mount Whitney, which is bound for the Black Sea, has sailed from Istanbul. This is reported from the scene of the event.

The USS Mount Whitney, a US Navy Sixth Fleet ship, was reported to be heading to the Black Sea to conduct operations with alliance allies on November 1. On its way to its destination, the flagship stopped in Istanbul to later join the USS Porter, which was already in the Black Sea.

On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting in Sochi on defense issues that it was possible to see a U.S. ship through binoculars or the scope of defense equipment. Moscow will respond to attempts to break the strategic parity adequately to the situation, the Russian leader added.

On November 3, the USS John Lenthall entered the Bosporus Strait and headed for the Black Sea. According to military historian Dmitry Boltenkov, ships of this class do not often appear in the Black Sea.

On the same day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance was observing a growing Russian presence. According to him, NATO is responding to it by increasing its presence in the region and at the same time by increasing its participation in air, land and sea defense. At the same time the Secretary General pointed out that there was no direct military threat from Russia to the Baltic states.

On October 30 the headquarters of the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy and the naval strike and support forces of NATO began operations in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The US missile destroyer USS Porter began transiting the Black Sea to interact with NATO allies and partners in the region. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has begun tracking the ship.

Officers of the headquarters of the American Sixth Fleet as well as commanders of the strike and support forces of the Joint Naval Forces of the North Atlantic Alliance are on board the US destroyer.

According to the Montreux Convention, any warship of countries that do not have access to the Black Sea cannot stay there longer than 21 days.