Kiev: USS Donald Cook, the Stealth anti-missile destroyer, a part of the US Stealth Fleet, has entered the Ukrainian port of Odessa. The visit of the US warship becomes significant, against the background of the bold statements issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the US special representative in Ukraine, Curt Volker visited the warship.
Last year, in November, Russia detained three Ukrainian patrol ships and 24 seamen, in the Sea of Azov. The dispute between the two countries festered following this Russian action. Ukraine alleged that Russia wanted to break Ukraine further, after separating Crimea. Ukraine had appealed that the United States and the European countries should help Ukraine to counter this Russian aggression. Responding to the appeal, the United States and the United Kingdom had decided to deploy their warships in the Black Sea.
In January, the United States announced that destroyer USS Fort McHenry had left for the Black Sea. Following its withdrawal, the United States has despatched a new destroyer USS Donald Cook for Ukraine. This destroyer is equipped with Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles along with anti-submarine missiles. As per sources, this US destroyer will be holding war exercises with the Ukrainian navy.
The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the US special representative in Ukraine, Curt Volker visited the destroyer, after USS Donald Cook reached Ukraine. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko justified the visit of the US destroyer ‘The visit of the USS Donald Cook of the United States, underlines the increasing military cooperation between the two countries and is an important message for Russia.’ The US Special Representative Curt Volker also endorsed the statements of President Poroshenko and clarified that the visit of the US destroyer is a symbol of the support of the United States to Ukraine.
Last month, Russia deployed nuclear ballistic missile launchers, near the Ukrainian border. It was also exposed that Russia has deployed tanks, artillery and soldiers on the huge scale on the eastern Ukrainian border. Following that, Russian President Vladimir Putin, mentioning the tension prevailing between Russia and the United States, over the INF treaty, had warned that Russia would deploy new and advanced missiles. It is believed that this has increased the threat to Ukraine. Against this background, the visit of the US destroyer becomes significant.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo reprimanded Russia, over the Crimea issue. Pompeo warned that Crimea is a part of Ukraine and Russia should return it to Ukraine. The US Secretary of State also warned that the US sanctions would remain in force till the time Russia doesnot return Crimea to Ukraine.