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US calls to strike Crimea are ‘direct involvement’ in Ukraine conflict – Russian envoy

CIA Director William Burns said previously that more funding for Kiev would allow it to conduct ‘deep penetration strikes’ in the peninsula

The US is aggravating the Ukraine conflict by continuing to support Kiev financially and suggesting a course of action on the ground, the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has said.

Washington’s rhetoric about the need to pour more money into Kiev to help it attack Crimea signals America’s direct participation, Antonov told reporters on Wednesday in response to an earlier statement by CIA Director William Burns.

Additional funds would allow Ukraine to conduct more “deep penetration strikes in Crimea,” continue targeting the Russian Black Sea fleet and eventually “regain the offensive initiative,” Burns told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Monday.

“The situation has reached a point where some high-ranking [US] officials are saying: we need to help Ukrainians ‘strike deep in Crimea.’ In other words, the direct involvement of the United States in the conflict has been officially recognized,” Antonov stated.

He went on to warn that the direct participation of Ukraine’s Western backers in the conflict is “a dangerous course, fraught with the most unpredictable consequences,” not only for the security of the US, but for the whole world.

The CIA director’s appeal came as the US is struggling to approve a new $60 billion aid package amid persistent complaints from Ukrainian authorities about a lack of munitions on the front lines. While that funding is stalled in Congress, the White House on Tuesday announced a smaller $300 million military aid injection for Kiev, the first this year.

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CIA Director William Burns attends the hearings at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 11, 2024.
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According to Antonov, with this new package the US administration “confirmed the constancy of its disastrous course of prolonging the military conflict in Ukraine.” “The United States does not want to understand the simple truth that no American weapon will stop [Russia’s] special military operation… Its use will only lead to an increase in casualties among ordinary citizens of the post-Soviet republic,” he said.

Moscow has repeatedly said that it is open to peace negotiations to bring an end to the fighting and insisted that by funding Kiev’s war effort the West is eliminating the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough. However, the US and its NATO allies say that the only acceptable basis for peace talks is the formula put forward by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which requires the return of all former Ukrainian territories, the unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops and an international tribunal for Russian leaders. Moscow has refused to negotiate under such terms.

March 13, 2024 at 01:53PM
RT

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