The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned arrival of the U.S. guided-missile cruiser Monterey, in the Georgian port of Batumi, saying that the move will encourage Tbilisi’s “revanchist aspirations”.
“Whatever explanations are given for this entry, it is obvious, that it will be perceived by the Georgian leadership as an encouragement for its revanchist aspirations in respect of Russia’s allies – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and will not promote strengthening of stability in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on June 21.
“We consider that such maneuvers are in contravention of the current nature of Russian-American relations. We expect more constructive approach from Washington, which will meet the goals of ensuring security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region, as a whole, and of respecting legal interests and concerns of all states located here,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The U.S. Navy cruiser, equipped with a ballistic missile defence system, docked in Batumi port on June 20 and will stay there till June 23.
The USS Monterey with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel arrived in the Black Sea more than a week ago to participate in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.
The move prompted Russia’s criticism with the Foreign Ministry saying on June 12, that the arrival of the U.S. warship, equipped with advanced Aegis antimissile weaponry, in the Black Sea was “a threat to our security.”