Sat, 23 Sep 2023

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said last week that Washington does not object to Kiev striking Crimea

Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned US diplomats on Friday over what it called "provocative statements" by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The American official was de-facto supporting Ukrainian strikes against Russian territory, including Crimea and the Belgorod region, the ministry said in a statement.

Moscow expressed its "strong protest" over what it called "unacceptable remarks" made by Sullivan. His words prove that previous US statements suggesting Washington does not endorse any Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory are "hypocritical and untruthful," the statement said. It added that weapons and equipment supplied by the US are being used by Ukraine for "terrorist acts."

"The hostile actions of the US, which has long become a party to the conflict, have plunged US-Russia relations into a deep and dangerous crisis fraught with unpredictable consequences," the ministry warned. It also maintained that "any forms of aggression against Russia would be always met with a resolute response."

It is unclear which specific statements by Sullivan triggered Moscow's reaction. The Russian foreign ministry did not elaborate or point to any particular comment. Last week, the national security adviser told CNN that Washington does not object to Kiev striking Crimea, including with US-supplied weapons.

"We have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory within its internationally recognized borders," he said, adding that "we believe Crimea is Ukraine."

Sullivan didn't mention Russia's Belgorod region in the interview, however, and still maintained that Washington "will not enable Ukraine" to attack Russia with US weapons systems. Crimea joined Russia in 2014 in the wake of the Maidan coup in Kiev, following a referendum.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry also warned that Moscow may cut ties with London over the UK's alleged role in Ukrainian terrorist attacks inside Russia. The ministry said such a step would be an "extreme measure." The warning came after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that British Special Forces allegedly had "guiding influence on Ukrainian special-forces activity," including in sabotage operations against Russian railways and other logistical targets.


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