Russia reacts to US ‘support’ for strikes on Crimea
The US has again confirmed its direct involvement in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Moscow's Embassy in Washington has claimed. The statement came after US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said military sites in Crimea were “legitimate targets” for Ukraine, and that her country was “supporting” strikes on them.
Nuland “has admitted that the [Biden] administration is fueling the ambitions of the Kiev regime to attack our country,” the Russian Embassy argued in a statement on Friday.
The words of the high-ranking American official were “clear confirmation of Russia’s position that the US is directly involved in the conflict” between Moscow and Kiev, it said.
The statement added that Washington is not just using rhetoric but is also taking “concrete actions” by supplying modern weapons and advising Ukrainian military leaders, and that “de facto, they plan operations together.”
Citing American and Ukrainian officials, the Washington Post reported last week that Kiev’s forces would not fire a single shot from artillery systems provided by the US without first confirming the coordinates of the target with the Americans.
“Inciting Kiev criminals to attack Crimea is the same as pushing them to attack Moscow or Vladivostok,” the embassy insisted, adding that Russia would defend its territory in any case.
Crimea overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in 2014 after a violent coup in Kiev. Ukraine still views the peninsula as part of its territory, with the US sharing that stance.
In her interview on Thursday with American think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Nuland said the US believes that Kiev is “owed and due all of their territory within their international borders,” including Crimea. “Ukraine is not going to be safe unless Crimea is – at a minimum, at a minimum – demilitarized,” she asserted, adding that the Biden administration backed Kiev’s attempts to target the peninsula.
Washington’s support for attacks on Crimea is “an undisguised manifestation of the bellicose attitude of the US towards our country,” the Russian Embassy insisted.