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US distances itself from Ukrainian cross-border raid – RT World News

Washington does not ‘allow or encourage’ attacks on Russia, State Department says

The US State Department said Monday that Washington does not support attacks outside Ukraine’s borders, after being asked about a raid by a group of saboteurs in Russia’s Belgorod region.

The department’s new spokesman, Matthew Miller, did not respond to reports of militants using US military equipment in the attack, but confirmed that supplying Ukraine with more weapons, potentially including F-16 fighter jets, was a challenge. “priority” for the US government and its allies.

“We’ve made it very clear to Ukrainians that we don’t allow or encourage attacks outside of Ukraine’s borders, but I think it’s important to step back and remind everyone, and remind the world, that he – of course it was Russia who started this war”, Miller told reporters during the daily briefing.

“So it’s up to Ukraine to decide how it wants to conduct its military operations, but it’s Russia that has been the aggressor in this war,” he added.

At least eight civilians were injured in the raid by a group of militants, who crossed the border from Ukraine into the Belgorod region on Monday. Russian security forces have been deployed to eliminate them, according to regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. The Kremlin called the operation a publicity stunt to distract from Ukraine’s defeat in Artyomovsk, the Donbass city formerly known as Bakhmut, over the weekend.

The United States and its allies have provided at least $100 billion worth of weapons, equipment and ammunition to the government in Kyiv by the end of 2022, according to Russian Defense Ministry estimates. Moscow has repeatedly warned that continuing to “pump” Ukraine with arms can lead to direct confrontation, but Western officials have insisted that giving Ukraine military, financial and political aid does not make them parties to the conflict.

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