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US calls any threat to Ukraine navy 'dangerous'

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration says any Russian threat to Ukraine’s navy would be a “dangerous escalation” of an extremely tense situation.

The State Department said Monday the United States would hold Russia directly accountable for such an escalation, but did not elaborate on potential consequences.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki added that she could not confirm whether Russia had in fact made such threats.

Earlier Monday, a Ukrainian military spokesman said Russia had issued an ultimatum to the crews of two Ukrainian warships in Crimea, demanding they immediately surrender or be stormed and seized.

Secretary of State John Kerry is leaving for Ukraine late Monday, and then will travel to France and Italy. He had planned to see his Russian counterpart in Paris, but Psaki said that meeting was no longer certain.

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