The US State Department said the move was part of an ongoing campaign to destabilize Ukraine amid the build-up of Russian troops in the region.
The US State Department has called Russian plans to block parts of the Black Sea to blockade parts of the Black Sea an “unprovoked escalation”, which could ultimately impact access to Ukrainian ports amid heightened maneuvering tensions. Moscow military.
The United States and its European allies have expressed concerns over Russia’s military build-up in recent weeks and fear that Moscow is considering invading Ukraine. Russia, which supports separatists in eastern Ukraine, annexed Crimea in 2014.
Russian state media reported that Moscow intends to close parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and official ships for six months, which could affect access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea by the Kerch Strait.
Russia temporarily restricted the movement of foreign warships and what it called “other state ships” near Crimea.
“This represents yet another unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“This development is particularly disturbing amid credible reports of the build-up of Russian troops in occupied Crimea and around Ukraine’s borders, now at levels not seen since the invasion of Russia in 2014,” he said. he adds.
Washington last week imposed sanctions on Russia and expelled its ambassadors for Moscow’s interference in last year’s US presidential election, cyber-hacking, bullying against Ukraine and others suspected “malicious” actions.
A few days later, Russia expelled American diplomats in a tit-for-tat move.
Ukraine and Russia have shared blame over an outbreak of violence in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops fought Russian-backed separatist forces in a conflict that Kiev says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.
The US Federal Aviation Administration on Monday urged airlines to use “extreme caution” when flying near the Ukraine-Russia border, citing potential risks to flight safety.
Senior EU diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday that more than 100,000 Russian troops had gathered on the border with Ukraine and in annexed Crimea.
He said no further economic sanctions or expulsion of Russian diplomats were planned at this time.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, after addressing EU foreign ministers, called on the EU to impose further sanctions on Russia.