US naval flagship to arrive in Georgian port

POTI, Georgia (AP) -- The U.S. Embassy says the flagship of the U.S. Navy's Mediterranean fleet is to arrive in the Georgian port of Poti on Friday.

The Mount Whitney is the first US naval ship to travel to the port since Georgia fought a short war with Russia last month. Poti was bombed by Russian forces and several Georgian ships were sunk.

U.S. officials say the ship is bringing humanitarian aid for Georgians.

Russia, however, is extremely wary about the presence of U.S. and NATO ships in the Black Sea region. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has vowed Russia will respond to the increased Western naval presence in the sea.

U.S. officials in Washington say Russia will be allowed to inspect the Mount Whitney's cargo.