According to a Pentagon source, US Navy ships may be sent to the region as a sign of support for Ukraine.
The United States is considering sending warships to the Black Sea in the next few weeks to bolster Kyiv amid the growing Russian military presence near Ukraine’s eastern border. CNN reported this on Thursday, citing a spokesman for the US Department of Defense.
According to the source, the US Navy ships from time to time enter the Black Sea, but the deployment of warships at this very moment will become a kind of warning signal for Moscow.
In accordance with the 1936 treaty, according to which Turkey controls the Black Sea straits, the United States is obliged to notify Ankara of its intention to enter the Black Sea 14 days before the ship’s call. CNN was unable to determine if a notification was sent.
The Pentagon spokesman also said that the US Navy continues to fly reconnaissance aircraft in the international airspace over the Black Sea to monitor the activities of the Russian Navy and the movements of Russian troops in Crimea.
On Wednesday, two American B-1 bombers flew over the Aegean Sea.
Although the United States does not officially view the accumulation of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border as preparation for an offensive, a CNN source clarified that “if something changes, we will be ready to react.”
According to current estimates, the Russian military is conducting exercises and intelligence has no information on any further orders from the Russian Defense Ministry. However, the situation, according to a Pentagon spokesman, may change “at any moment.”
Joe Biden’s administration and the international community have repeatedly expressed concern about growing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Over the past couple of weeks, President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milli, and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan have discussed the situation with their Ukrainian counterparts.
On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the administration was “seriously concerned” about Russia’s actions. Psaki also noted that the US is discussing the movement of Russian troops in the region with NATO allies.
“Russia now has more troops on the border with Ukraine than it ever had since 2014,” said a White House spokeswoman. “This week alone, five Ukrainian soldiers were killed – these are very dangerous signs,” Jen Psaki said.
A spokeswoman for the administration added that the report on Russia’s malign actions would be completed “in the coming weeks.”
The Pentagon and State Department have also expressed concern about Russia’s behavior near Ukraine’s eastern borders.
“We are concerned about the recent escalation of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, including credible reports of Russian troop movements near the borders of Ukraine and in occupied Crimea,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said this week. importantly, we sent a calming signal to our Ukrainian partners. ”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said this week that “all parties must abide by the Minsk agreements” and Russia must “respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.”
In turn, Moscow accuses Kyiv of escalating tension and provocative actions.