The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine amid Russia's increased military presence on Ukraine's eastern border.
The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching, a US defense official told CNN on Thursday.
The US is required to give 14 days notice of its intention to enter the Black Sea under a 1936 treaty giving Turkey control of the straits to enter the sea. It is unclear if a notice has yet been sent.
US navy continuing to fly scout plane over Black sea to monitor Russian troops in Crimea
The Defense official also said that the Navy is continuing to fly reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace over the Black Sea to monitor Russian naval activity and military movements in Crimea.
"If something changes, we will be ready to respond," the official said.
Emphasising that Russians are conducting training and exercises and intelligence has not yet indicated military orders for further action, the official noted that the US is well aware that this could change at any time.
The Biden administration and the international community have expressed concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia.