19 May 2014 voiceofrussia.com
American Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf is expected to enter the Black Sea May 23, a military-diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
"It is expected that Vella Gulf will pass through the Black Sea straits on May 23. According to available data, the ship will be performing the tasks of US Navy command in the eastern part of the Black Sea," the source specified.
Earlier it was reported that Vella Gulf missile cruiser would visit the Black Sea on May 9, however, the visit was postponed. A source in the military-diplomatic service said on May 9: "The cruiser’s visit has been postponed for an indefinite term, but it will likely take place in the end of this month, ahead of Ukraine’s presidential elections scheduled for May 25." The source added then that with the presence of their ship in the Black Sea, the USA was intending to support the actions of new Ukrainian authorities.
In accordance with the Montreux Convention, military ships of non-riparian states cannot stay in the Black Sea for more than 21 days. Thus, in case the visit starts May 23 in the morning, Vella Gulf would have to leave the Black Sea not later than early on June 13.