The U.S. government has seen no proof of Ukrainian involvement in alleged illegal incursions into Crimea, the country's ambassador to Kiev, Jeffrey Payette announced Thursday.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) accused the Ukrainian military of sending a force to the peninsula to prepare “terrorist acts” in a statement Wednesday. Ukraine has denied all allegations.
“Russia has a record of frequently levying false accusations at Ukraine to deflect attention from its own illegal actions,” Payette wrote on social media site Twitter on Thursday. The U.S. stance on the status of Crimea remains unchanged, he said. “Crimea is, and will always remain, part of Ukraine,” he wrote.
Payette also condemned 'the Russian occupation of Crimea' and promised that sanctions imposed by the United States would “remain in place until Russia returns the peninsula to Ukraine.”
Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov has already announced his “confidence” that the reported hostilities in Crimea were staged by the U.S. Department of State, TASS reported.
"The U.S. Department of State is looming behind them because the Ukrainian authorities wouldn't have the guts to carry out such activities,' said Aksyonov.
He earlier told the Russia 24 television channel that the 'Ukrainian saboteurs' in Crimea should be killed and hanged along the border to “scare away” those who would wish to follow in their footsteps.
Aksyonov's deputy, Ruslan Balbek called upon “all civilized countries” to expel Ukraine from the United Nations and the OSCE as “these organizations are aimed at supporting international security, not unleashing aggression against civilians as Kiev authorities do,” RIA Novosti reported.