The United States has cancelled the deployment of two warships to the Black Sea amid concerns over a Russian military build-up on Ukraine's borders.
That's according to Reuters with reference to Turkish diplomatic sources.
Last week, Turkey said Washington would send two warships to the Black Sea, in a decision Russia called an unfriendly provocation.
Read alsoU.S. warships to deploy in Black Sea until May 4The U.S. Embassy in Ankara had notified Turkey's foreign ministry of the move, the sources said, but did not provide a reason. Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency later reported that no new notices had been conveyed to Ankara for potential deployments at later dates.
U.S. officials said that Turkey may have misunderstood the initial notification and the deployment was never confirmed. They said the United States frequently notifies Turkey for potential access to the Black Sea. But a request does not necessarily mean its ships will pass through, but rather ensures that if they choose to, they already have the required approval.
Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- On March 31, 2021, The New York Times reported Russia was pulling 4,000 troops to the border with Ukraine.
- Footage was shared on the Internet, showing a train with Russian military hardware en route along the Kerch Strait bridge to occupied Crimea.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation.
- On April 8, 2021, Khomchak assured the situation was under control, and the Ukrainian military was ready to respond to the escalation both in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions and along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.