WASHINGTON, November 8. /TASS/. The U.S. Department of Defence has no evidence confirming Russian military hardware sending to Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters on Friday, commenting on Kiev authorities’ allegations that Russian sent T-64 tanks and artillery weapons to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
“I don’t have any independent operational reporting that would be able to confirm that report that these formations have crossed the border,” Kirby said. “What we do see is a continued presence of significantly capable and ready Russian battalion tactical groups right across that border. And they are close. And they are very capable,” Kirby added.
“Russia continues to demonstrate its lack of regard for international agreements and its determination to further destabilise Ukraine,” NATO said, while Kirby concurred saying “they are doing nothing to decrease the tension.”
U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said earlier Friday that the United States could not confirm the reports. He added that if the reports on sending Russian military hardware to the east of Ukraine are confirmed, this will be another gross violation of the Minsk agreements. “If confirmed, the United States condemns this most recent incursion into Ukrainian territory,” she said. “It would be another blatant violation of the Minsk agreement signed by Russia and the separatists.”
Kiev claimed five soldiers were killed in the latest bout of fighting despite a ceasefire with the rebels, and fears grew of a return to all-out fighting.
Psaki said the United States urged Russia and separatists to comply with all the obligations in accordance with the Minsk protocol of September 5. She added that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was going to discuss the situation in Ukraine with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Beijing this Saturday where preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit are underway.