VLADIMIR Putin has blocked ALL foreign warships from reaching Ukraine after Joe Biden's Black Sea U-Turn.
Russia has now closed part of the Kerch Strait after the US president sent two Navy battleships to the region but called them off.
The Kremlin had earlier warned US warships to stay well away from Crimea “for their own good”, calling their deployment in the Black Sea a provocation designed to test Russian nerves.
White House officials decided not to send the ships to avoid needlessly escalating the situation with Russia over the Ukraine, a US defence official told Politico.
It comes as a US military chief has warned there is a “low to medium risk” of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in the next few weeks.
Now the Ukrainian foreign ministry has revealed Russia will close part of the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait for foreign warships involved in military exercises from next week until October.
The area in question is near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and Kyiv has said Russia's actions were illegal.
The closure of the waterway comes as tensions are rising in the region as it is feared Putin may be preparing for another land grab from Ukraine as he masses troops along eastern border with the former Soviet state.
The Russian leader has reportedly now moved tens of thousands of troops and heavy military equipment to the border with Ukraine, prompting a phone call from President Biden to tell the Russian leader to stand down.
Expert Dr Jade McGlynn, director of research at the Henry Jackson Society, told the Sun Online Putin is threatening to invade Ukraine as he looks to reassert Russia's "superpower" status.
Dr McGlynn insists the build-up of troops and arms in eastern Ukraine is Putin "showing off" and doubts the Russian strongman would risk a full-scale conflict.
She said: "Putin would rather manipulate and fool around than go into full-on war.
"War is a big risk. This is more about showing off. And showing Biden 'don't think you can come in and try and speak down to Russia and try and put Russia in its place because Russia is a global power.”
However, there is a “low to medium risk” of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in the next few weeks, a US military chief warned today as Vladimir Putin continues sending troops, artillery and tanks to the border.
The head of US forces in Europe, General Tod Wolters, was giving evidence to the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington.
The general insisted the chances of invasion were “low to medium”, adding that it would depend on a number of factors.
"My sense is, with the trend that I see right now, that the likelihood of an occurrence will start to wane," he said.
Ukraine and Russia have traded blame over a spike in violence in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed forces in a conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.
Tensions over the acceleration of Russian troops on Ukraine's eastern border have pushed up the cost of raising domestic debt and prompted the government to increase efforts to secure more International Monetary Fund loans, a presidential adviser told Reuters on Thursday.
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