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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Libya's PFG to Lift Terminal Blockades

Petroleum Facilities Guard has blocked terminals for months. Ras Lanuf, Es Sider terminals damaged by fighting. Libya's Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) will

Migrants Survivors Tell of Struggle at Sea

The bodies of 21 women and one man were brought ashore to Sicily on Friday as fellow migrants described scenes of panic and violence when water poured into their dinghy.

Eye on the Navy

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Migrants Survivors Tell of Struggle at Sea

The bodies of 21 women and one man were brought ashore to Sicily on Friday as fellow migrants described scenes of panic and violence when water poured into their dinghy.

Rescuers Recover 17 bodies, pick up 1,128 Migrants

An Irish navy ship recovered 17 dead bodies on Thursday when it went to the aid of migrants packed onto a wooden boat off the coast of Libya, Italy's coastguard said,

Government Update

Kerry to Press ASEAN meeting for talks on SCS Disputes

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will urge Southeast Asian nations in meetings in Laos next week to find diplomatic ways to launch talks with China on easing

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority 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: 0.0838 sec (12 req/sec)