MOSCOW, April 2 – RIA Novosti. Official Washington promised to support Kiev in the event of an aggravation of the situation in Donbass. This statement was made by the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
The agency reported on the telephone conversations between the head of the Ukrainian defense department, Andriy Taran, and the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin. Taran told his American colleague about the situation on the contact line in Donbass and accused the Russian authorities of unwillingness to observe the ceasefire regime.
“The US Secretary of Defense stressed that in the event of an escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine alone,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Austin, in a conversation with Taran, condemned “the escalation of Russian provocations” and also reaffirmed “the US commitment to building the potential of Ukrainian forces for more effective defense against Russian aggression.” At the same time, Kirby recalled that the United States has allocated more than $ 2 billion to Ukraine since 2015 in security assistance.
Senator Alexei Pushkov commented on reports that Lloyd Austin promised not to leave Kiev alone in the event of an escalation of the conflict in Donbass.
“Whatever this means, Kiev should not rely especially on the United States in the event that Ukraine starts a military operation against Donbass,” the parliamentarian said.
The assurances could mean anything from new sanctions to arms supplies, he said. “But not direct US military intervention on the side of Ukraine, which would be complete madness,” the senator concluded.
The US State Department, in turn, accused Russia of “destabilizing” actions in Ukraine.
“We are very concerned about the recent escalation of Russia's aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
He also expressed concern about information about the movements of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. “We are discussing our concerns about these growing tensions and ceasefire violations with our NATO colleagues,” Price said.
Last Tuesday, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak accused Russia of allegedly gradually building up troops near the border with Ukraine, which, according to him, poses a threat to military security. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said earlier that Moscow allegedly intends to expand its military presence in Donbass, the department also does not exclude that Russia will try to move its troops deep into Ukrainian territory.
Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov responded by saying that no one should care about the movement of Russian troops within the country. He also noted that Russia is taking measures to ensure the security of its borders, along the perimeter of which NATO activity is noted.
The press service of the Southern Military District reported that videos with columns of military equipment, which appeared on social networks, are associated with the transfer of military equipment to Crimea along the railway part of the Crimean bridge as part of the exercises.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev have deteriorated against the background of the situation in Donbass. The Ukrainian authorities have previously repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in the country's internal affairs.
In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR, which declared independence after the coup d'etat in Ukraine in February 2014. According to the latest UN data, about 13 thousand people became victims of the conflict.