The US has deployed four navy destroyers to support NATO allies in the 6th Fleet area of operations amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, US Navy announced Friday.
“The U.S. Navy destroyers USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57) are operating in the European theater of operations,” Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson said in a statement.
“Throughout their deployment, they will participate in a range of maritime activities in support of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and our NATO allies,” he added.
However, the Navy underscored that the deployments were not in response to any actions or expected actions of Russia.
Instead, they are supposed to “provide additional flexibility to the 6th Fleet”, Abrahamson said.
The US Naval Institute (UNSI) had first announced that the deployments were designated to Europe.
“The #US has deployed four navy destroyers to support #NATO allies in the 6th Fleet area of operations amid escalating tensions between #Ukraine and #Russia, #US Navy announced Friday.”https://t.co/r7QTCHfOel
— David Soiza (@SoizaDavid) February 11, 2022
Ukraine has been plagued by conflict in its eastern regions since March 2014 following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea.
Moscow recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Russia has denied it is preparing to invade and accused Western countries of undermining its security by NATO’s expansion towards its borders.
The Kremlin also issued a list of security demands to the West, including a rolling back of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states, and guarantees that Ukraine and Georgia will not join NATO.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk