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Russian Diplomat Fires Back at Sullivan's Remarks Regarding Attack on Crimea

© Sputnik / Василий БатановBalaklava bay on the Gerakleysky peninsula on the southwestern coast of Crimea, in the Balaklavsky district of Sevastopol.
Balaklava bay on the Gerakleysky peninsula on the southwestern coast of Crimea, in the Balaklavsky district of Sevastopol. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.05.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Crimea is part of Russia and US threats to strike at the peninsula are irresponsible, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday.
"Crimea is an integral part of Russia and attempts to present the matter differently, to threaten is another confirmation of the irresponsible escalation course of Washington," Ryabkov told reporters.
Moscow will find a way to prevent the implementation of threats of possible strikes against Crimea, the diplomat added.
On Sunday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington does not allow Kiev to use Western weapons to strike at the territory of Russia, noting that he does not consider Crimea to be part of it.
A view on Yalta from Mount Ai-Petri in Crimea. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.05.2023
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It is clear for Russian that an entire range of weapons will sooner or later end up in Ukraine, Ryabkov added, commenting on possible supplies of F-16s to Kiev.
"The entire range of weapons, military equipment, which is under discussion, one way or another will end up in Ukraine. The same applies to the training of military personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces. These efforts are completely useless and meaningless: our capabilities are such that all the goals of the military operation will certainly be achieved, and no infringement on Russia's security will lead to the results sought for by the West," Ryabkov told reporters.
During the G7 summit in Japan, US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the US, along with its partners, was going to launch a training program for Ukraine’s military pilots on the fourth generation fighter aircraft including F-16s. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that the time was yet not right for Kiev to have F-16s, adding that the US and its allies were going to decide which countries would supply these aircraft to Kiev and in what number.
A decision on granting or rejecting the US Embassy’s request for consular access to arrested Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich depends on the situation, Moscow is not ready to put forward certain conditions in this matter, Sergey Ryabkov said.
"This depends on the situation. We have explained quite clearly the reasons why this was done. Let's see what happens next," Ryabkov told reporters, adding that Moscow is "not ready now to formulate some parameters, some criteria or some conditions for [providing consular access]."
Gershkovich, 31, was detained on March 29 in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on suspicion of trying to collect classified defense information for the United States. In April, a Moscow court ruled that the reporter be put in pre-trial detention until May 29. Requests by the US Embassy for consular access have been denied by Moscow.
The hypothetical withdrawal of the United States from the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) will not affect Russia's position on this treaty, Ryabkov said.
"Washington's hypothetical withdrawal from this treaty will not affect our current position. And as for those or other actions that we can and should take to ensure our own safety, this is already being done. So, let us see what the politicians in Washington will come up with, where, as we note, there are quite a lot of reasons for inter-party struggles today," Ryabkov said.
Although Russia has suspended the operation of the treaty, it still adheres to its main quantitative restrictions on warheads and carriers, the diplomat concluded.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that a group of Republican senators introduced legislation calling on the United States to withdraw from the New START arms control treaty and to bolster its nuclear forces.
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