Washington: The United States dismissed Russia’s allegation on Thursday that Washington was behind what it said was a drone attack on the Kremlin, saying Moscow’s assertion was a lie.
“Obviously it’s a ludicrous claim,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said hours after Russia blamed the United States for what it called an attack aimed at killing President Vladimir Putin.
“The United States has nothing to do with it. We don’t even know exactly what happened here, but I can assure you the United States had no role in it whatsoever,” Kirby said on CNN.
Kirby said the United States does not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike outside its borders, and does not endorse attacks on individual leaders. Ukraine has denied launching any drones on the Kremlin.
It was still unclear what exactly occurred at the Kremlin and the United States is still assessing the situation, Kirby said in television interviews Thursday morning.
“We still don’t really know what happened,” he told MSNBC.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the United States was “undoubtedly” behind the alleged attack on Wednesday, without providing evidence.
“Peskov is just lying there, pure and simple,” Kirby said.
Kirby added that Putin was “the aggressor” in Ukraine and could end conflict by withdrawing from Ukraine’s territory he attacked in February 2022.
On CNN, Kirby also said he was not aware of any specific intelligence that Russia was targeting NATO’s critical infrastructure systems.
NATO’s intelligence chief warned on Wednesday that Russia may sabotage undersea cables to punish Western nations for supporting Ukraine, as the alliance boosts efforts to protect undersea infrastructure following Nord Stream attacks in September.
“It’s something we’ve been mindful of and watching as best we can since almost the beginning of the war,” Kirby said on CNN. “We’re watching this very, very closely.”
EU warns Moscow
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned Moscow on Thursday to not use an alleged drone attack that it said targeted the Kremlin to escalate its war in Ukraine.
“We call on Russia not to use this alleged attack as an excuse to continue the escalation of the war,” Borrell told journalists as he went in to attend an EU ministers meeting in Brussels.
“This is what worries us: this can be used to justify more conscription of people, more soldiers, more attacks on Ukraine.”
Borrell said he had heard Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky deny that Ukraine was behind the attack, which Russia said occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.
Moscow said anti-aircraft units shot down the drones, claiming the alleged attack was an assassination attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who does not sleep in the Kremlin.
Borrell said: “I listened to President Zelensky; President Zelensky said clearly Ukraine is not involved in the attacks, that they are defending their country, but they are fighting on their soil, that they are not attacking Russian soil.”