US considering sending WARSHIPS to Black Sea amid 'increasing concern' over Russian military build-up near Ukraine

THE UNITED States is considering sending warships to the Black Sea as a show of force against the Russians, who have move troops near the eastern border of Ukraine.

Defense officials within the federal government are considering the impact of such a move that would largely occur within the next few weeks, but are hoping to ultimately support Ukraine in an impending military advancement.

Although the US Navy often operates in the body of water, sending a number of warships to the area would send a clear message that the US is watching both Ukraine and Russia, a defense official said.

Due to a 1936 treaty that gave Turkey control of the straits to enter the body of water, the United States is required to give two weeks notice of its intentions before it sends ship in that direction.

The source did not tell CNN if notice was already sent.

On Wednesday, recon aircraft flew over the area in international airspace. Although intel showed no advancing actions by the Russians, the source said "if something changes we will be ready to respond."

This comes just hours after Russia moved BUK missiles – the same that were used to down a Malaysia Airlines Boeing flight in 2014 – near the eastern border of Ukraine.

Russia also vowed it "will retaliate" should the US make any "unfriendly moves."

Vladimir Putin has yet to denounce the military's advancements towards Ukraine and Crimea.

He also ignored calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to remove troops from the border.

Two B-1 bombers flew over the Aegean Sea on Wednesday, the source added, saying the United States will continue surveilling the area.

Defense officials believe Russian troops are conducting military exercises and are awaiting military orders, but said that could change at a moment's notice.

The Biden Administration has met with a number of leaders across the globe in discussing the appropriate next steps should tensions escalate.

President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley and national security adviser Jake Sullivan have all made comments to Ukrainian officials regarding US aid to the country.

When asked by reporters during the daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Russia's advancements were "deeply concerning."

"The United States is increasingly concerned by recently escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including Russia's movements on Ukraine's border," she said.

"Russia now has more troops on the border of Ukraine than any time since 2014. Five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed this week alone. These are all deeply concerning signs," Psaki ended.

She added sanctions could be added to Russia within weeks.

Similar sentiment was shared by the State Department.

"We are concerned by recent escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including the credible reports that have been emanating about Russian troop movements on Ukraine's borders and occupied Crimea," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said this week.

"We have asked Russia for an explanation of these provocations, but most importantly what we have signaled directly with our Ukrainian partners is a message of reassurance," Price continued.

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