Putin blocks all foreign warships from reaching Ukraine after Biden’s Black Sea U-Turn; Russia closes Kerch Strait

Putin blocks all foreign warships from reaching Ukraine after Biden’s Black Sea U-Turn; Russia closes Kerch Strait

Putin took advantage of Biden’s U-turn back by closing off the Kerch Strait between Crimea and Russia, blocking all foreign warships from getting to Ukraine until October 2021. Ukraine said the move was an ‘act of war’ and was disappointed foreign destroyers had turned around before one of Moscow’s biggest escalations in the last 30 days.

By EMILY GOODIN, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER
(Courtesy by DailyMail.com)

UNITED Kingdom — President Joe Biden canceled the deployment of two US warships from the Black Sea despite warning Vladimir Putin there would be ‘repercussions’ for the troop build-up in Ukraine.

Last week, Turkey said Washington was sending two warships to the Black Sea, in a decision Russia called an unfriendly provocation.

But the Biden administration reversed the decision after the Kremlin warned them to ‘stay away for their own good’, and gave Putin the chance to ramp up his military presence in Crimea and near the Ukrainian border.

White House officials decided not to send the ships to avoid needlessly escalating the situation with Russia over Ukraine, a US defense official told Politico.

Hours later, Putin took advantage of Biden’s U-turn back by closing off the Kerch Strait between Crimea and Russia, blocking all foreign warships from getting to Ukraine until October 2021.

Ukraine said the move was an ‘act of war’ and was disappointed foreign destroyers had turned around before one of Moscow’s biggest escalations in the last 30 days.

Putin is continuing to build up his forces on the border with Ukraine, as the government warns troops numbers could swell to 110,000 with 7,000 tanks and other vehicles in support

The Kerch Strait is crucial access for the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. Commercial ships will still be allowed to pass through, but the blockade leaves the region vulnerable in the face of Russian aggression.

Washington’s change in the region came on the day Biden announced sweeping new sanctions against Moscow as the White House seeks to rein in Russian aggression while avoiding all-out war with the Kremlin.

‘We have no desire to be in an escalating war with Russia,’ a senior administration official said Thursday on a briefing call with reporters, saying the White House doesn’t want things ‘spinning out of control.’

‘We do not seek a downward spiral. We can and think we can avoid that,’ the official said.

Officials made it clear, however, that the administration ‘will not accept [Russia’s] destabilizing behavior that harms the United States, its allies, and its partners. (AI/MTVN/MailOnline.com courtesy)

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