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Russia monitoring US destroyer's movement in Black Sea: Defense Ministry

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of USS Donald Cook

The Russian Defense Ministry says the country’s Black Sea Fleet is monitoring the movement of the US Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook that recently entered the strategic waters.

Russia’s National Defense Control Center (NDCC) announced in a statement on Saturday that the Admiral Essen frigate alongside the Vyshny Volochek and Orekhovo-Zuyevo small missile ships were tracking the movements of the US Navy ship.

"Forces on the Black Sea Fleet have begun to monitor the actions of the US Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook, which entered the Black Sea on January 23, 2021," the NDCC added in the statement.                                                

Last August, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter visited the Black Sea and was monitored by the Russian Black Sea Fleet's Smetlivy destroyer at the time.

American bombers and spy planes, as well as NATO aircraft, have frequently been spotted near Russia’s borders.

Moscow has time and again expressed concern about the increasing presence and activities of the US-led NATO forces near Russia’s western borders.

The provocative flights have increased in frequency since 2014, when Crimea joined Russia following a referendum in which more than 90 percent of participants voted in favor of separating from Ukraine, and when the ongoing military conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out.

The West brands the reunification as annexation of Ukrainian land by Russia, which strongly rejects the allegation. In siding with Ukraine, the European Union has followed Washington's lead in leveling several rounds of sanctions against Moscow.

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