Unnamed U.S. Official Says U.S. Navy Preparing Show of Support for Ukraine in Black Sea
April 9 , 2021 (EIRNS)—An unnamed U.S. defense official told CNN yesterday that the Biden Administration 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. The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the U.S. is closely watching, the official said. TASS reported today that the Turkish Foreign Ministry had notified member states under the 1936 Montreux Convention that two U.S. warships planned to enter the Black Sea through the Bosporus on April 14-15 and stay until May 4-5.
U.S. and allied reconnaissance aircraft fly also over the Black Sea on a regular basis. A quick check of the flightradar24 website today showed a Royal Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft off the coast of Crimea. The track showed it flying west after having made a u-turn off the coast of Novorossiysk where another Russian Black Sea Fleet base is located.
Although the U.S. 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 observed that they are well aware that that could change at any time.
There is, of course, no official confirmation that such a naval deployment is in the works. “No confirmation. We have nothing to share with you on this at this time,” TASS was told at the press service of the United States European Command after it had asked to confirm and comment on the CNN report.