USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), a flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet, anchored off the coast of Poti on September 5 with humanitarian aid onboard.
Russian forces maintain two outposts in the outskirts of Poti.
“USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) plans to deliver more than 17 tons of relief supplies, including 4,000 blankets donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), juice, powdered milk and hygiene products,” the U.S. embassy said in the statement.
Andrey Nesterenko, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, however, said at a news conference in Moscow on September 5: "Naval ships of that class can hardly deliver a large amount of aid."
This is the third ship which transported humanitarian aid to Georgia. Two previous ships - a U.S. navy guided missile destroyer, the USS McFaul, and a U.S. coast guard cutter, Dallas (WHEC 716) – delivered aid in the port of Batumi last month.