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Stay away from our coast, Russia warns US warship in Black Sea

Russia has warned the American destroyer USS Donald Cook deployed in the Black Sea against approaching Russian coasts, stressing that Moscow is closely watching and monitoring the warship’s actions.

Visits to the Black Sea by US warships have nothing to do with US security and are motivated by domestic politics, said Russian senator Alexei Pushkov on Sunday.

“US warships are becoming frequent visitors to the Black Sea. These visits have nothing to do with US security,” Pushkov, a member of Russia’s Upper House Commission on Information Policy, wrote on his Twitter page.

“They flaunt their flag, send us a signal, and appease their own senators, who are demanding they send a whole military fleet to the Black Sea. They should keep away from our coastline,” he warned.

The US guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook began moving towards the Black Sea on Saturday, less than two weeks after another US Navy vessel was deployed there.

Earlier this month, the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry was deployed to the Black Sea where its crew trained with sailors from the Romanian Navy.

The US navy claims the USS Donald Cook seeks “to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability.”

The Russian Black Sea fleet began monitoring the warship once it entered the region, RIA news agency cited Russia’s National Defense Control Center as saying on Saturday.

According to the Montreux international convention, the Arleigh Burke-class US warship can stay in the Black Sea for no more than 21 days, RIA cited the Russian defense control center as saying.