A US Navy ship, the USS Fort McHenry, with embarked elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, began its north-bound transit of the Dardanelles Strait, en route to the Black Sea, on January 6, 2019.
The ship is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship.
"USS Fort McHenry's transit into the Black Sea reaffirms our collective resolve to Black Sea security and enhances our strong relationships with our NATO allies and partners in the region," the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet website quoted Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, the commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet, as saying.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
photo: The USS Fort McHenry (picture courtesy of the US Navy)
"Let us work together constructively because the endeavour is a united and strong Europe," Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs after they confirmed her in the post. She will take up her new role on November 1.
On Monday, 15 July, yet another incident occurred in the vicinity of the David Gareji Monastery which lies on a disputed area of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. The monastery has turned from a place of worship to a flashpoint, with Georgian religious zealots trying to state their claim on the land as Georgian territory, and Azerbaijani border guards stopping them.