U.S. Beefing up Black Sea Presence

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Thursday, June 05, 2014

The United States will strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region using part of a $1 billion fund promised to NATO allies on Russia's borders, and will continue to send warships to the area, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Romania on Thursday.

Hagel is the latest high-ranking American official to visit Europe since Russia's annexation of Crimea, as Washington looks to reassure allies jittery about Moscow's intentions in its former Cold War backyard.

The tour coincides with a visit by President Barack Obama to Poland this week, when he promised to increase military support for eastern European NATO members, including a $1 billion fund to support and train the armed forces of NATO states.

Formerly a secretive Communist state, Romania is now a member both of NATO and the European Union. Bucharest has been among the staunchest supporters of Western sanctions against Russia, has hosted joint military exercises with U.S. forces on its soil and participated in navy drills in the Black Sea.

Hagel was on a visit to the Romanian port Constanta, which recently hosted U.S. ships carrying out the navy exercises and where the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf is currently berthed.

The $1 billion fund will allow for a "stronger presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea", Hagel said, adding that the presence of the Vella Gulf was an expression of Washington's commitment to regional security.

"We will sustain that tempo going forward," Hagel told reporters, referring to the rotating presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea since the Crimea crisis erupted.

Bucharest has openly called for an increased U.S. military presence in the Black Sea, and is particularly concerned about Russian intentions in its tiny neighbour Moldova, which used to be part of Romania and contains a Russian-speaking minority.

Since the standoff over Ukraine erupted, Romania has also pledged to raise its defense spending. That announcement drew praise from Washington, which has urged other NATO members to follow suit and review how their militaries are trained.

President Obama also used the visit to Poland to throw his weight behind the new president of Ukraine, amid an intensifying crackdown by Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian rebels.

The G7 group of industrialised nations has threatened to impose tougher sanctions on Russia if it does not help restore peace in eastern Ukraine.


By David Brunnstrom

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

China, Russia Conclude Naval Drill

Russia and China naval forces concluded their first-ever joint military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea this morning, according to an online news briefing from the Chinese Defense Ministry.

USS Freedom (LCS 1) Completes Rough Water Trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials (RWT) in late March the Navy reported May 21.

Navy Space-Based Orbital Debris Sensor Gets Patent

Small orbital debris objects can threaten vital space-based assets. The Navy's patented compact debris detection device can detect debris in near real-time and

Patrol Boats

Malaysia Orders Migrant Rescues, Thailand Says No to Shelters

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday he had ordered the navy to conduct search and rescue missions for thousands of migrants adrift at sea as Thailand's

US: South China Sea Reclamations Stoke Instability

China's land reclamation around reefs in the disputed South China Sea is undermining freedom and stability, and risks provoking tension that could even lead to conflict, U.

NASSCO Bags USS Mitscher Maintenance, Modification Contract

General Dynamics NASSCO, a business unit of General Dynamics has been awarded a $36.4 million contract for maintenance, modernization, and repair of the USS Mitscher (DDG 57).

Maritime Security

China, Russia Conclude Naval Drill

Russia and China naval forces concluded their first-ever joint military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea this morning, according to an online news briefing from the Chinese Defense Ministry.

New Flag Program Honors US Merchant Marines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the launch of the United States Merchant Marine Flag Program, which will provide U.

Malaysia Orders Migrant Rescues, Thailand Says No to Shelters

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday he had ordered the navy to conduct search and rescue missions for thousands of migrants adrift at sea as Thailand's

Eye on the Navy

China, Russia Conclude Naval Drill

Russia and China naval forces concluded their first-ever joint military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea this morning, according to an online news briefing from the Chinese Defense Ministry.

Historic Warship Docked for Restoration

One of the world's oldest commissioned warships has entered dry dock for a planned multiyear restoration, the U.S. Navy reports.   On May 19, USS Constitution

Malaysia Orders Migrant Rescues, Thailand Says No to Shelters

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday he had ordered the navy to conduct search and rescue missions for thousands of migrants adrift at sea as Thailand's

Government Update

New Flag Program Honors US Merchant Marines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the launch of the United States Merchant Marine Flag Program, which will provide U.

Transport Ministers Summit Kicks off in Germany

Key topics of this year’s summit will be centered on transport and climate change as a milestone to the COP 21 climate change conference in December 2015.   The

Malaysia Orders Migrant Rescues, Thailand Says No to Shelters

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday he had ordered the navy to conduct search and rescue missions for thousands of migrants adrift at sea as Thailand's

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1228 sec (8 req/sec)