The US announced last week that two warships were to be deployed to the Black Sea after a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border. On Monday, Moscow warned the Americans to stay out of the Black Sea “for their own good.” There were also incidents between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian separatists. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden called Russia’s Vladimir Putin to propose a summit in a neutral country and called on him to “de-escalate tensions.” Putin has not responded. After cancelling the US Black Sea deployment, sources in Washington forecast a new round of US sanctions against Russian officials.
The Russian Navy has meanwhile held a snap live-fire drills in the Black Sea ahead of an emergency NATO meeting of defense and foreign ministers over the crisis.