USS Harry S. Truman departs Naval Station Norfolk as part of Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group’s deployment earlier this month (Picture: US Department of Defense).
USA

Reports US aircraft carrier remaining in Mediterranean amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

US outlets suggest USS Harry S Truman and her carrier strike group will hold off on original plans, maintaining a presence to reassure Euro...

USS Harry S. Truman departs Naval Station Norfolk as part of Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group’s deployment earlier this month (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman and her strike group will pause a pre-planned route and remain in the Mediterranean to reassure European allies over the threat from Russia, according to American media outlets.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reportedly made the call in light of growing tensions, over fears Russia could launch an offensive into Ukraine.

The US carrier will continue patrols between Italy and Greece, instead of resuming a planned transit through the Suez Canal, USNI reported. 

Talks between Russia and the US are expected to begin in the coming weeks, after a Russian troop build-up near the border with Ukraine sparked fears of another invasion, after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Flag of Russia and Ukraine in Berlin 180415 CREDIT ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
There is widespread fear over potential for another Russian invasion of Ukraine (Picture: Alamy).

Moscow has demanded Western guarantees, including for Ukraine to be kept outside of official NATO membership status.

Washington has refused to provide such pledges, but said they are ready for the talks.

In June 2020, NATO recognised Ukraine as an Enhanced Operational Partner – which has seen the country make sustained contributions to the group without being a full member.

US President Joe Biden warned Mr Putin in a video call earlier this month that Russia will face "severe consequences" if it attacks Ukraine.

Russia has denied any intention of launching an invasion and, in its turn, accused Ukraine of hatching plans to try to reclaim control of the territories held by Moscow-backed rebels by force.

Ukraine has rejected the claim.