Speaking to Reuters, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says it is the U.S. Navy’s role to deter aggression and keep sea lanes open in the Black Sea basin, which bounded by Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine and Turkey.
“We’re going to be there,” Mabus told Reuters of the Black Sea. “We’re going to deter. That’s the main reason we’re there — to deter potential aggression.”
Romania and Turkey are going to push for for a bigger NATO presence in the Black Sea in response to increased Russian aggression in the region. They are expected to propose the joint initiative in a NATO summit in July.
Russia has its own Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol and says it poses no threat to the security alliance.