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Six Russian warships are heading for the Black Sea for naval drills amid escalating tension between the West and Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

The Russian defence ministry said the exercises were a planned movement of military resources, according to the Interfax news agency.

It came hours after Paris said Vladimir Putin had promised not to stage new manoeuvres near the border with Ukraine for the time being.

Tensions between Russia and the West have reached a new high in recent months as Moscow amasses troops on its border with Ukraine, prompting fears of an imminent invasion.

Read more: Three new signs of Russian invasion plans

On Monday, Mr Putin met French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Russian leader warned European countries would be drawn into military conflict if Ukraine joined NATO.

More on Russia

He also warned there would be “no winners” from the ongoing crisis, after meeting with his French counterpart at the Kremlin, for talks he described as useful, substantive and business-like.

Mr Macron is set to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv later.

Russia has gathered over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, but it insists it has no plans to attack Ukraine.

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US President Joe Biden has warned there “will no longer be Nord Stream 2”, a crucial European gas pipeline, if Russia crosses into Ukrainian territory.

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