Visit of USS Donald Cook symbolizes strength of U.S.-Ukraine partnership - Yovanovitch
Entering the port of Odesa by the American missile destroyer Donald Cook indicates a close U.S.-Ukrainian partnership, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has said.
"We warmly welcome the USS Donald Cook to Odesa. This ship visit symbolizes the strength of the U.S.-Ukraine partnership," the U.S. Embassy to Ukraine quoted Yovanovitch as saying on Twitter on Monday.
As reported, the U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook entered the Black Sea on February 19 and arrived in Odesa on Monday. The American ship, which carries 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of 1,600 kilometers docked near the main Odesa port and will be moored there until February 27.
According to Turkey's defense ministry, last week the Donald Cook entered the Black Sea with the Turkish rocket ship TCG Fatih.
The Donald Cook, which is equipped with the anti-missile defense Aegis Combat System, together with other U.S. destroyers - Carney Ross and Porter - is permanently stationed in Rota, Spain. The ships along with land-based Aegis Combat Systems in Poland and Romania are the backbone of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) missile defense system.
The Cook, which is forward deployed to Rota, Spain, entered the Black Sea "to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and partners and demonstrate the collective resolve to Black Sea security under Operation Atlantic Resolve," the U.S. Navy said.
The USS Donald Cook destroyer often participates in the international exercises Sea Breeze, which are held in Ukraine.