The U.S. Sixth Fleet’s flagship, the LaSalle, called at Sevastopol from August 31 through September 3, the first visit by a U.S. warship there since Ukraine became independent. The precedent-setting event was made possible by the Ukrainian government’s resolution allowing foreign vessels access to Sevastopolska, Balaklava and Kamyshov Bays. Pivdenna [Yuzhnaya] and Karantinna bays remain out of bounds to foreign vessels because the Russian fleet is based there. (See the Monitor, July 22) The Sixth Fleet’s commander, Vice-Admiral Daniel Murphy, announced that more U.S. naval visits would follow.
Murphy conferred with Ukrainian naval commanders on upcoming joint exercises in the Black Sea, and met with senior Kyiv officials. He made a point of meeting as well with Russian naval commanders and called for cooperation among navies in the Black Sea. The LaSalle is due today in Novorossiisk. The visit highlights the rising naval profile of the U.S., along with its ally Turkey and NATO partner countries, in a sea that was long dominated by Moscow. (UNIAN, September 1 through 3)
RUSSIAN-TAJIK MILITARY EXERCISE HELD.