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Pentagon urges Russia to be more transparent over Ukrainian border situation

In his opinion, Russia’s actions were not "conducive to stability and security there"

WASHINGTON, April 10. /TASS/. Russia should show more transparency regarding its actions near the border with Ukraine, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters on Friday.

When asked to comment on the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, the spokesman said: "We would like better clarity. We would like the Russians to be more transparent about what it is doing with this force buildup in Crimea and also along the eastern border of Ukraine. It’s not exactly clear."

In his opinion, Russia’s actions were not "conducive to stability and security there." "We call on Russia, as I’ve said in the past, to be more transparent about what they’re up to, what their intentions are," Kirby said.

Black Sea ships

Kirby was also asked to comment on reports about two US Navy warships entering the Black Sea next week to remain there until March 4. He refused to confirm those reports, but said "there’s not anything new" in US warships in the region.

"We routinely conduct operations in the Black Sea and throughout the European command AOR [area of responsibility]," he said. "I’m not going to forecast or speak about hypotheticals or future operations. This is a normal evolution for the United States and we obviously coordinate the entry to the Black Sea through the Montreaux Convention with Turkey."

"We will fly, sail and operate wherever the international law permits us to do so. That’s what this is about. Clearly, we take our obligations throughout the European Command area of operations very, very seriously.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry source earlier told TASS that two US warships are to enter the Black Sea on April 14 and 15. Earlier, a ministry source also confirmed to TASS that Washington had notified Ankara about sending warships to the Black Sea 15 days before they were to cross the Bosphorus Strait. The US guided missile destroyers Roosevelt and Donald Cook will pass through the Bosporus Strait into the Black Sea next week, the Turkish TV Channel NTV reported.

Western countries have repeatedly expressed concern lately over the Ukrainian military’s allegations that Russia was increasing military presence on the border with Ukraine.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that the Russian troop’s movements across Russia’s territory should not alarm other countries because Russia does not pose a threat to other states, including Ukraine. He stressed that the developments in Donbass were an internal Ukrainian conflict, in which Russian troops had never taken part.

The situation in Donbass aggravated at the end of February, with fire exchanges involving the use of mortars and grenade launchers registered every day. The conflicting sides blamed the aggravation of the situation on each other. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a video conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 30. In particular, he expressed concern that Kiev had destabilized the situation in Donbass.