Security conditions in Crimea and along the Ukrainian border with Russia could change “without notice,” given the mounting tensions and military build-up in the region, warned the US embassy in Kiev.
The embassy sent the warning Thursday morning after President Biden abandoned plans to send two destroyers to the Black Sea and Russian President Vladimir Putin subsequently closed the Kerch Strait to foreign warships until next fall.
“Attention US citizens,” began the warning published on Twitter, “the US Embassy in Ukraine continues to monitor the situation with Russia in occupied Crimea and along the borders of Ukraine, where security conditions are little or no can not change. ” no note. “
The Biden administration initially said it would send two destroyers – the USS Roosevelt and the USS Donald Cook – to the Black Sea in response to Moscow’s increasing military presence near Ukraine.
It later withdrew that threat after the Kremlin warned the US to stay out of the area “for their own good”.
“We don’t feel like being in an escalating war with Russia,” a senior government official told reporters at a briefing Thursday, adding that they did not want the situation “to get out of hand”.
The official added that the government believed it could “avoid” sending the US on a “downward spiral”.
Still, government officials said the US would “not accept its destabilizing behavior that harms the US, its allies and partners.”
Putin’s closure of the area came just hours after Biden declared a national emergency on Thursday, imposed sanctions on more than three dozen people in Russia and expelled ten diplomats.
Biden anticipated the sanctions in a call between himself and Putin on Tuesday when he warned the Russian mighty that “the United States will act decisively in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions such as cyber intrusions and election tampering”.