Russia tracks US Navy destroyer in Black Sea

Russia tracks US Navy destroyer in Black Sea

MOSCOW, Nov 25 Reuters - Russia's military is tracking the US Navy's missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke after it entered the Black Sea to patrol with NATO allies, TASS news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying on Thursday.

Russia, Ukraine and NATO have conducted military drills in recent weeks and Moscow denies that it is contemplating an invasion of Ukraine, a manoeuvre that comes at a time of high tension in the region.

The U.S. Sixth Fleet said the Arleigh Burke had entered the Black Sea on a routine patrol, a day after Russia said it had conducted military drills there involving aircraft and ships.

The ship will work together to ensure security and stability in this vital international waterway, while in the Black Sea.

Ukraine has tilted towards the West since 2014, when a pro-Russian president was ousted after mass protests. It is not a NATO member, but enjoys backing from Washington, including defence aid and supplies of patrol vessels and anti-tank weapons.

Arleigh Burke's mission follows a similar visit to the Black Sea earlier this month by the US Navy's USS Mount Whitney, which was also tracked closely by Russia's navy.