Just 2 weeks ago, the USS Donald Cook entered The Black Sea on a mission to "reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners." So, one wonders what it is to be made of the fact that, as ITAR-TASS reports, the US warship USS Donald Cook with the Aegis missile defense system onboard has left the Black Sea, according to a Russian Defense Ministry source. This leaves only the USS Taylor on its mission of "peace and stability"... should NATO allies be un-reassured?
On the way in...
“The Donald Cook’s mission is to reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren said.
Quiet on the way out...
USS Donald Cook left the Black Sea on Thursday, passed through the straits and entered the Aegean Sea, the source said.
Two NATO warships remain in the Black Sea. French ship Dupuy de Lome and USS Taylor entered the sea on April 10 and April 22, respectively.
The US frigate is in the western part of the sea near the Romanian port of Constanta, and the French ship is in the Georgian port of Batumi.
The French destroyer Dupleix, earlier planned to enter the Black Sea on April 26-27, was not expected to arrive there at the time, the official said.
USS Taylor previously remained in the sea from February 5 to March 9, eleven days longer than the maximum period of 21 days set by the Montreux convention for presence of warships from other regions in the Black Sea. The overstay was officially explained by propeller repair.
We can only assume that this means mission accomplished for the US... or maybe they see where it's heading and prefer to be less exposed?