Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday voiced concern over the appearance of a U.S. guided missile cruiser in the Black Sea for a joint naval drill with Ukraine.
The Monterrey cruiser, equipped with the AEGIS ballistic missile defense system, was currently taking part in the Ukrainian- U.S. “Sea Breeze 2011″ anti-piracy exercises in the Black Sea.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the role of the warship was unclear in the drill which was being held in the sensitive region.
“If this is an ordinary visit, then it is unclear why a warship with this type of armament was chosen to move to this quite sensitive region,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
According to the statement, Monterrey was sent to European waters as part of the U.S. phased adaptive approach to building the European segment of its global missile shield.
“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we shall not leave unnoticed any elements of U.S. strategic infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of our borders and that we shall take such steps as a threat to our security,” the statement said.
The ministry also accused the U.S. cruiser’s entry into the Black Sea as an approach which “clearly discourages” the efforts on European missile shield cooperation.