A third US naval ship has been delivering humanitarian aid to Georgia. However, unlike the two other American vessels, the USS Mount Whitney was offloading supplies at the Russian-patrolled port of Poti. Earlier US shipments steered clear of a potential showdown with the Russians by diverting to Batumi.
Tension remains high after last month’s Caucasus conflict and Moscow’s recognition of Georgia’s breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent. Moscow maintains its military patrols at Poti are for peacekeeping purposes. Tbilisi and its Western allies say it is part of an illegal occupation.