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US considering sending warships to Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

April 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 69.9%. 2 min read.

The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine amid Russia's increased military presence on Ukraine's eastern border, a US defense official told CNN Thursday.

(CNN)The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine amid Russia's increased military presence on Ukraine's eastern border, a US defense official told CNN Thursday.

The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching, the official said.

The Defense official also said the Navy is continuing to fly reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace over the Black Sea to monitor Russian naval activity and any troops movements in Crimea.

On Wednesday, two US B-1 bombers Wednesday conducted missions over the Aegean Sea. Although the US does not see the amassing of Russian forces as posturing for an offensive action, the official told CNN that "if something changes we will be ready to respond. " Their current assessment is that the Russians are conducting training and exercises and intelligence has not indicated military orders for further action, the official said, but noted that they are well-aware that could change at any time.

"We are concerned by recent escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including the credible reports that have been emanating about Russian troop movements on Ukraine's borders and occupied Crimea," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said this week.

"We have asked Russia for an explanation of these provocations, but most importantly what we have signaled directly with our Ukrainian partners is a message of reassurance," he said.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said this week that it was important "for all sides to comply with the Minsk Agreement" and "for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine to be respected by Russia. "

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