The U.S. is set to deploy two warships to the Black Sea until May 4 as Russia built up its military strength on the Ukraine-Russian border.
Ukrainian military officials reported Russia deployed tanks, helicopters, and armored vehicles along the border. Russia also sent over 10 ships into the Black Sea, they vary from landing boats to artillery warships.
The Russian Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, claim these movements are for military exercises and they could move their forces at their “discretion.”
Even though the Russian military was set to conduct drills in the area, it ended on March 23, but an estimated 4,000 troops remain near the border.
The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) has raised its threat level as skirmishes between Russian and Ukrainian militaries erupted.
Turkey told Reuters on Thursday the U.S. submitted a request to move the warships through the Bosporus Strait to approach the Black Sea from the south.
Due to the 1936 Montreux Convention, any country that wishes to send their ship into the Black Sea must give 14 advance notice.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said, “A notice was sent to us 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that two U.S. warships would pass to the Black Sea in line with the Montreux Convention. The ships will remain in the Black Sea until May 4.”
Pentagon Press Secretary, John Kirby, called on Russia to “bring the temperature down, to de-escalate” in a press conference.
The increase in world tensions prompted Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to call Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to urge him to remove his military from the border.