Russia summons senior U.S diplomat to protest on his remarks on supporting attack on Crimea

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MOSCOW (Reuters) Russia’s foreign ministry summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to protest White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s comments that he was “effectively supporting the attack on Crimea”.

The Black Sea Peninsula was occupied by Russia and unilaterally annexed by Ukraine in 2014, although it is internationally recognized as Ukraine territory.

“It is time for the U.S. government to learn that any form of aggression against Russia will continue to be met with the best possible response,” the ministry said.

Sullivan did not specify which comments he disagreed with, but when asked in an interview with CNN on Sunday whether Ukraine should have weapons that could hit Russia’s targets in Crimea, Sullivan said: “Yes. We do not place any restrictions on our ability to attack Ukrainian territory within our internationally recognized borders. “We have said we will not allow Ukraine to use US or Western systems to attack Russia, and we believe Crimea is Ukraine.”

Russia has reported a spate of drone strikes and attacks in its internationally recognized territory in recent weeks, including Tuesday’s cross-border raid in the Belgorod region blamed on Ukrainian militants.