Russia warns the U.S. Navy to stay out of the Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions

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FILE – In this March 28, 2014 file photo, a Russian national flag flies on a hilltop near the city of Bakhchysarai, Crimea. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

MOSCOW (WLNS) – Moscow is warning the United States not to get involved as Russian troops amass along the border of Ukraine.

Hostilities have been flaring in that region since 2014, when Russia unilaterally annexed Crimea, a peninsula that juts into the Black Sea near the border between the two countries. There is unrest even within Ukraine between the Western-backed government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.

The Turkish government announced this week that two U.S. Navy warships would pass through its waters to enter the Black Sea. Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov called that deployment a provocation.

“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast,” he said. “It will be for their own good.”

During a regular press conference, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not confirm the statement from the Turkish government, but pointed out that the U.S. Navy regularly operates in the Black Sea.

Ukraine says Russia has amassed 80,000 troops along its border, and claims attempts to communicate with Russian President Vladimir Putin have been ignored.

President Joe Biden contacted Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskyy on Friday to assure him that Ukraine has unwavering support from the U.S. “in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression.”

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