Pentagon makes show of force in Black Sea to counteract Russian influence: report

Pentagon makes show of force in Black Sea to counteract Russian influence: report
© Getty Images

The U.S. Navy is increasing its presence in the Black Sea, CNN reported, marking a show of force by the Pentagon to counteract Russian influence in the region. 

The USS Carney joined the USS Ross there on Saturday, according to the network. A representative for the Navy's 6th Fleet for Europe and Africa told CNN that the guided-missile destroyers will conduct "maritime security operations."

It is the first time since last summer that two U.S. warships have been in the Black Sea, CNN noted. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The fleet's commander, Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, tweeted that the move to increase U.S. forces in the area is "proactive, not reactive," and "demonstrates our enduring commitment to regional stability." 

Russia's defense ministry responded on Sunday, announcing the deployment of a frigate and two patrol ships to conduct exercises in the Black Sea, CNN reported.  

The moves come amid growing tensions around Crimea, a volatile territory that Russia annexed in 2014 in a move roundly condemned by the U.S. and many allied nations. One official told CNN that the U.S. military aims to "desensitize Russia" to increased operations in the region. 

The Treasury Department last month sanctioned 21 individuals and 9 entities, including over 12 Russian government officials, for involvement in the occupation of Crimea and supporting the territory's separatist government, as the U.S. continues to mount pressure on Russia over Moscow's attempts to expand its regional influence.