Destroyer USS Donald Cook visits Rīga

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The missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, which last week grabbed headlines after a series of particularly aggressive flyovers by Russian aircraft, on Tuesday arrived in Rīga for a scheduled port visit. 

The visit shows the US' "continued commitment to the collective security of NATO under Operation Atlantic Resolve," a US Embassy release said.

Following a meeting with officials at the Rīga City Council, Commander Charles Hampton of the US Navy spoke to LSM about the recent flyovers.

He stressed that as a multi-mission destroyer the USS Donald Cook can respond to a variety of threats.

Hampton said that "the crew was very well prepared and very well trained" for the incident, which Secretary of State John Kerry told the Miami Herald and CNN Espanol "could have been a shoot-down".

Charles Hampton on the recent Russian plane flyovers
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While Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, speaking to Latvian Television Wednesday morning, said that the flyovers could have been Russia "preparing" for the talks between NATO and Russia taking place Wednesday in Brussels. 

He warned there's potential for incidents like these to end "sadly".

"The more incidents like these take place, the bigger the possibility more serious problems arise," said Rinkēvičs. 

Latvia's National Armed Forces (NBS) tweeted a link to a gallery of images aboard the USS Donald Cook which you can see by clicking the link below:


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